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Are liberal atheists the Dem party's personae non gratae?

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lwcon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 09:49 AM
Original message
Are liberal atheists the Dem party's personae non gratae?
(reposting as a new thread)

Did anyone see Joe Biden on Bill Maher's "Real Time"? He was tremendous throughout the show... but then he started bashing the "liberal elites" who, he says, look down on religion. He's not alone among Dems who feel the need to out-Christian the right, albeit in a way that's mostly nuanced and in many ways quite refreshing.

But, dammit, some of us liberals do look down on religion, and it doesn't make us unworthy elites. Just as religious people do, we wish others would "see the light," but we're not bad or disrespectful people because of it. It doesn't make us haters or snobs.

Highly recommended reading for atheists and agnostics: http://www.washingtonsyndrome.com/2006/04/somin_on_athe...

Key points in the linked article are:

1. The case for recognizing that the hostility (toward atheists) exists
2. A response to the suggestion that atheists themselves have brought on this antipathy, and
3. Why it matters


___

Hey, the liberal light is always on at the Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy. Please stop by and say "hi!"
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 09:53 AM
Response to Original message
1. The day joey boy stops worshiping the holy credit card lobbiests...
I will listen to him. In the mean time, joey "I support the new bankruptcy bill to screw the poor" biden can politely go fuck himself. :)

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BlueEyedSon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 09:56 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. i concur
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 10:09 AM
Response to Reply #1
7. Politely?
He can go fuck himself with a chainsaw, as far as I'm concerned. Maybe I'd sell tickets to watch, it would be the first time that man ever generated excitement among the Democratic Party's working class base.

Biden is part of the party's problem, folks. He's never going to be part of the solution, and the sooner we can make him go away, the better.
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 10:16 AM
Response to Reply #7
11. I like the chainsaw line :) nt
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Jacobin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 09:55 AM
Response to Original message
2. I think its silly to fall into the trap
of considering that atheism or agnosticism is in itself a 'religion' or 'sect' or defined group of some type, which then gets you into the religious gang wars that are perpetual through out history.

I consider myself simply one who does not pretend to understand any more than I can about the universe, and who doesn't feel the need to surrender thought and reason to some magical explanation for the way things are.

Don't get drawn into that silly trap with the magical thinking people. It will lead you nowhere....nowhere at all.
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madmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 10:06 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. I agree 100%, I've told my MIL who is a "magical thinking person"
that if I don't know how or why something happened I'm not afraid to say "I don't know" I don't have to explain it away with the "God acts in mysterious ways" hype. I don't remember who it was who said "we have learned everything there is to learn" I think we've proven him wrong.
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lwcon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 10:13 AM
Response to Reply #2
10. I don't think of it as a group whatsoever...
... which is why I don't capitalize "atheism."

But when people whom I'd otherwise like to represent me hold people like me up for derision, I'm not happy about it.

That's not falling into a trap, it's being nailed by friendly fire.

___

Hey, the liberal light is always on at the Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy. Please stop by and say "hi!"
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Jacobin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 10:25 AM
Response to Reply #10
15. "people like me".......See how that works?
Hey. Magical Thinking People can laugh at me all they want. They can hold me up for ridicule all they want. I'm not getting into some damned holy war over magical thinking.

They simply are upset that you don't join in their magical thinking which makes them feel more secure about believing weird shit that has no basis in reality.

I think they are funny. (sometimes dangerous, this is true, but what the fuck can we do about people who base their lives on fucking magic?..other than vote against the ones who run for office)

/rant over

I know what you mean, but I'm not playing the game.
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Arugula Latte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 11:05 AM
Response to Reply #15
23. I think you hit the nail on the head.
I've always thought a lot of religious people were deeply insecure about the existence of non-believers because it reminds them of their deeply repressed thoughts that what they believe is completely ridiculous and illogical. Because the majority of the country falls into Magical Thinking, it's usually easy for them to ignore these nagging doubts. When a reminder pops up that not everyone concurs, they get angry and insecure.

I had a boss once who was actually very intelligent and educated. His wife decided to suddenly embrace fundamental Christianity. There was tension in the marriage before he decided to fall in line. His insecurity about believing that "the Earth is 4,000 years old" was palpable. He KNEW deep down that it was all a load of crap, but that only spurred him to spew the Magical Thinking more vehemently.
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lwcon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 02:41 PM
Response to Reply #15
50. I used to be amused, but now I'm disgusted
Edited on Wed Apr-19-06 02:42 PM by lwcon
With superstition pushing science out of our children's textbooks, and Jesus-love being a litmus test for public office, it's just not so funny anymore.

___

Hey, the liberal light is always on at the Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy. Please stop by and say "hi!"
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donsu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 11:01 AM
Response to Reply #2
22. one more time - atheism is not a religion or cult, it is NOTHING


atheism means people do not believe in gods of any kind. period.

someone else will have to speak to agnosticism
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TheBaldyMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 11:11 AM
Response to Reply #22
28. The only thing agnostics know for sure: you can't prove God's existence
beyond that they are not willing to go. It's not a categorigal denial of any divine agency yet it won't admit to the existence of one either.
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Jacobin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 11:25 AM
Response to Reply #22
33. Um, I think that's what I said.
What's the 'one more time' thingy all about? :shrug:
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donsu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 01:15 PM
Response to Reply #33
40. of people saying it's a religion or a cult

whatever makes them think not believing is a religion?

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lojasmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 12:03 PM
Response to Reply #22
36. 9th circuit court disagrees with you.
Atheism qualifies as a religion.
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Jacobin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #36
43. Damn.
Now I'm gonna have to find another name for myself.

I refuse to join any club that would allow me to be a member. :-)
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July Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #36
59. Please fill us in. nt
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lojasmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-20-06 10:14 AM
Response to Reply #59
100. Oops....SEVENTH circuit court.
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_I...

<snip>A federal court of appeals ruled yesterday Wisconsin prison officials violated an inmate's rights because they did not treat atheism as a religion.

"Atheism is religion, and the group that he wanted to start was religious in nature even though it expressly rejects a belief in a supreme being," the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals said.

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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-21-06 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #36
105. The court is wrong. My lack of belief is not a religion.
NT!

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Caution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-21-06 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #36
106. Atheism is a religion like not collecting stamps is a hobby,
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DavidDvorkin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-21-06 07:25 PM
Response to Reply #106
110. Caution, that is brilliant.
I'm going to have to use that line.
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smoochpooch Donating Member (688 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 10:29 PM
Response to Reply #2
77. He's fallen into the whole "assault on religion" bullshit,
that Rove manufactured to make us look bad! Religion is not under attack! Newsfuckingflash- Christians control everything! You are not being discriminated against in any way, shape or form. If you want to worship God, go to church asshole! Why would you go to a school or courthouse to worship your God? Last time I checked, you can attend any church you want in this country. I don't care about your religion- go nuts. But if you want to bring your religion into the public sphere, what denomination are we going to follow? Presbyterian, Catholic, Baptist? I really want to know. The church down the street says homosexuals are sinners, but the one across town welcomes them every Sunday- which one's prayers should our kids read in school?
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Clark2008 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 10:53 PM
Response to Reply #77
80. Fine, but don't sneer down your nose and call me stupid
THAT'S the problem.

I don't give a flying rat's ass if any atheist doesn't believe in God. I don't fucking CARE.

But, don't you call me STUPID or believing in "fairy tales" because I DO believe in God.

Can you people not see or hear the hypocrisy? Can you not hear how you sound? You sound as intolerant as the fundies because "I" don't believe the same thing YOU do.

Geesch.
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smoochpooch Donating Member (688 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 11:34 PM
Response to Reply #80
83. I believe in God,
I just don't believe in religion. It bothers me when people like Pat Robertson are allowed to monopolize Christ and twist (or ignore) his teachings to fit their agenda. He wants the country to follow his vision of Christianity, and if you don't, he uses his pulpit to tear you down. I never said you believed in fairy tales, but when surveys show that over a third of Americans maintain that the world is only 6,000 years old, I worry about the future of our country and our planet-these are the people who are in charge of our policy right now. How can those of us who disagree express our disapproval unless we point out the contradictions present?
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lwcon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-20-06 12:17 AM
Response to Reply #80
87. Secularism is under siege
I've never, ever, met an atheist who calls people who practice religion stupid.

But when we're under siege the way we (and our fellow-travelers like Darwin) are now, you're going to hear some testy talk now and again, like the other poster noted about Janeane Garofalo.

If everyone felt as you do -- that it's no skin off your nose if someone isn't religious, and if the Religious Right weren't getting away with their War on Science and Secularism, I can't imagine you'd ever hear much derisive talk.

Being an atheist used to be a pretty private business until the fundies began their joy ride through the gates separating church and state.

So right now, some of us are spittin' mad, and for good reason. We're being run out of town on a rail, and when that happens we do get a little pissed off and dismissive about the, well, mysterioso rationale that empowers them to do so.
___

Hey, the liberal light is always on at the Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy. Please stop by and say "hi!"


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Appalachian_American Donating Member (199 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-20-06 05:01 AM
Response to Reply #80
88. Why does it matter if someone thinks your religion is stupid or based
on fairy tales? Why not have the courage of your convictions? As long as you are allowed to practice your religion how is there a problem? THAT would be intolerance. Just because someone thinks you're stupid for believing in something how does that make them hypocrites or intolerant? Disrespectful and obnoxious - yes. Hypocritical and intolerant seems a little hysterical.

As a non-believer myself, I try to be respectful of all religions as long as they leave me alone and don't try to thrust their beliefs onto me. I don't have a problem lashing out at those who expect me to live my life based upon their religious beliefs. That seems to be the fundie mantra.

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Ex Lion Tamer Donating Member (445 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-20-06 09:13 AM
Response to Reply #80
99. Nicely put.
And I completely agree. But I think we need to look past their apparent hypocrisy to what is really going on.

It seems to me that the reaction is precipitated by the hijacking of "religion" by the totalitarean right wing--the people who want to force their "religion" onto everybody and enforce it throughout society. They have been so persistent and nasty about it, that they have become the face of religion to many people.

To me, that indicates the need for those of us believers to reclaim religion from the fundamentalists. My faith is all about love, charity, acceptance, etc. It is, at its core, very liberal.
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Bluesplayer Donating Member (660 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-20-06 05:35 AM
Response to Reply #2
89. Very well put!
"I consider myself simply one who does not pretend to understand any more than I can about the universe, and who doesn't feel the need to surrender thought and reason to some magical explanation for the way things are."

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magellan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 09:59 AM
Response to Original message
4. Anyone who doesn't respect my non-belief
...isn't living up to the responsibility of being a true American. I tune such people out.
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mrcheerful Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 10:01 AM
Response to Original message
5. Lets see anyone that wants to keep religion and government
seperate or doesn't share their brand of religion is harrassed, called names and are threatened with eternal damnation, then the fundies have the nerve to say they are under attack? WTF? It wasn't liberals that wanted a chruch run government nor do many of us want public schools to teach religious dogma to every kid even those that don't share our brand of religion. Who are the ones who try to say schools will be better and safer if we allow praying in them? The same people who say beating kids in school will do the same things as prayers. Who is trying to pass laws for all americans based on religious beliefs? The real war isn't about christen or non christen, its about a religious sect demanding everybody to follow their brand of religion.
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MindPilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 10:11 AM
Response to Original message
8. I saw that.
Edited on Wed Apr-19-06 10:13 AM by MindPilot
It made want to :puke:

Panderin' Joe was kissing xian ass like the church was a credit card company.

I still can't figure out which democrats are "demeaning people of faith", but the first one who does has my vote that's for sure.

edit: grammeration
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mainegreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 10:12 AM
Response to Original message
9. I read an interesting article once about a year ago where
a number of people were suggesting the best way to increase the atheist lobby's power is to threaten to publically support a candidate unless the candidate agreed to consider their issues in voting.
:evilgrin:
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stray cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 10:16 AM
Response to Original message
12. Dems don't want to lose the votes of everyone who has any faith
Edited on Wed Apr-19-06 10:18 AM by dmordue
because they are known as hostile to anyone of faith. I'm not sure we want a two party system of people who value religion and those who are against religion. Progressive values should be inclusive of both groups.

Also does liberal atheists mean people who scorn anyone who has faith (which doesn't sound liberal) or those who are simply progressive atheists.
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lwcon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 10:20 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. I completely agree
It's great if the Dem party is a big tent that includes people with and without religious faith.

I don't expect the Dems to say that atheists are a big part of the party -- we're a small ,controversial minority, and I'm not asking for them to brag about us. But don't sell us down the river, either.

___

Hey, the liberal light is always on at the Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy. Please stop by and say "hi!"
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PublicWrath Donating Member (597 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 10:31 AM
Response to Reply #12
16. I don't think it's a matter of being against religion it's a recognition
that endorsing faith leads ultimately to demanding faith. I'm not hostile to faith exactly, I'm hostile to legislated faith.

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July Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 04:06 PM
Response to Reply #12
60. A good liberal (and a good atheist, too) scorns no-one.
Tolerance is all.

But as both a liberal and an atheist, I have to say that I do not agree that I must respect other people's beliefs or that they must respect mine. I think I should respect another's RIGHT to believe/think whatever he likes, but I don't have to respect beliefs that make no sense to me. Same goes for the believer looking at me. I don't care if she thinks I'm crazy, as long as she doesn't try to prevent me from following my own conscience.
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pthalomarie Donating Member (42 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 06:01 PM
Response to Reply #60
68. there's a limit to "following your own conscience."
At some point, your conscience may lead you to do something that my conscience demands i put a stop to. your conscience in turn tells you to stop me.

so someone isn't going to be allowed to follow their conscience.
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July Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 06:49 PM
Response to Reply #68
70. I don't know where you are drawing the line.
Sure, sometimes there are acts we feel we must stop. However, some people have guidelines of conscience that many others strongly disagree with -- abortion is the main example in our country today, and is perhaps what you refer to. In such a case, I could not endorse your conscience "not allowing" my conscience to dictate my actions if we are on different sides of that issue. Depends what you mean. "Putting a stop" to someone else's action is pretty strong, so what the issue is would be quite important.
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pthalomarie Donating Member (42 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 07:06 PM
Response to Reply #70
72. the point is...
you can't have a society where everyone is allowed to "follow their conscience." you don't even need to get into abortion to illustrate this (although that's a good example).

for example, i may be afraid of my own safety, and my conscience may tell me that i should load up on firearms to protect myself. my conscience may then lead me to purchase or manufacture arms that could cause a lot of damage to the neighborhood, if they go off.

odds are, your conscience will tell you that i shouldn't be allowed to do this, that the risk to the neighborhood is too great.

so in the end, one of us won't be allowed to follow their conscience.

(the point is, an ordered society means not everyone gets to do whatever they want to do. sacrifices and compromises must be made.)
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Sparkly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 10:39 PM
Response to Reply #72
78. How did you get from tolerance to gun control?
Compromise: keep your guns if you think they "protect" yourself, but don't endanger me, my children, the people in your household, or anyone else who isn't about to end your life.

Sacrifice: NONE.

Task: Create laws that make that happen.

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July Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-20-06 07:29 AM
Response to Reply #72
94. I don't think abortion is a good example.
Where abortion is concerned, it is still legal in this country, so we DO have "a society where everyone is allowed to 'follow their conscience'" on that subject. There are people (anti-choicers) who want to control others' decisions, but that is just what I would object to. I do not try to make anti-choicers live by my conscience, and I don't want them trying to make me live by theirs.

I also object to the idea that I have to be "allowed" to follow my conscience. To me it is my responsibility to make the best decisions I can and act upon them. We are all aware of situations in which someone infringes on another's safety or rights while "following his conscience," but that does not mean that we should, in general, be free to do so. Those cases are the extremes, and an "ordered society" of laws has mechanisms to deal with them. Nonetheless, individual freedom of conscious is also a part of our society and system of democracy, and I am opposed to restrictions on my following my conscience just because someone else disagrees with me (e.g., in the case of abortion). If I'm a danger to others, that is a different story, but even that idea is abused by anti-choicers, who claim that I might be a danger to "an unborn child" whose status is equivalent to that of a born person, a concept I strongly differ with. Their subjective view on a controversial subject should not determine my actions.
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pthalomarie Donating Member (42 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-20-06 08:40 AM
Response to Reply #94
96. "conscience" isn't a reliable standard
Both sides of the abortion debate want to make the opposition live by their conscience. That's a big reason why it's such a passionate debate; it's not simply about letting one person follow their conscience; it's believing that that person's conscience is justifying murder, or oppression of women's rights.

Sure, there's room for token "protests", but both sides condone them only if the opposition fails to get anywhere politically or legally.

My point is, "conscience" is a poor gauge for morality. Skim a newspaper, and it's full of people who've done awful things that their conscience tells them are right.

So at some point, we're left with one of three possibilities: appointing one person's conscience as the standard from which all moral disputes are judged, or deciding these matters based on a culture's majority opinion, or deciding them based on an objective, supernatural authority.

The concept of "conscience" is pretty much libertarian "free will" with a different name. It doesn't work, because the unspoken implication is that some peoples' consciences are being selected as superior to all others.
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July Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-20-06 02:23 PM
Response to Reply #96
103. As far as I'm concerned, we all must answer to our consciences.
My conscience IS my morality. It doesn't work in a vacuum or come from a vacuum, and the fact that some people have ideas you would think are crazy doesn't mean we shouldn't all try to determine for ourselves what is right and try to live by what we've concluded.

You seem to suggest strongly that we must have some kind of controls upon us, because we can't count on our consciences. In fact, most societies manage to balance the need for both individual rights (to live by one's conscience, for example) and a degree of order. Your "objective, supernatural authority" and "culture's majority opinion" sound to me an awful lot like the privileging of a point of view that you say is implied in the concept of conscience.

Personally, I'm comfortable with a fair degree of variation in "conscience," and I see danger in giving primacy to a majority opinion or to an "objective" supernatural authority. I like to see toleration of the minority view, and I have no need for a supernatural authority. But I think that those who are guided by religious belief are similar to me in that we both "examine our consciences" (as they used to say in Catholic school) to judge our own behavior by those precepts we feel are best. That's morality to me, whether religiously-based or not.

It does appear that we have quite different approaches to the subject.
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pthalo2 Donating Member (2 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-25-06 04:50 AM
Response to Reply #103
111. you haven't thought this through.
Since it's been a while, I'll include your post in my responses:

>>>My conscience IS my morality. It doesn't work in a vacuum or come from a vacuum

Then where does it come from?

What evidence do you have that you see the world in a morally objective way?

The problem with your approach is that it is a recipe for suppression of minority views. If enough consciences agree on a given issue, they can prevent opposing views from being expressed or acted upon.

For example, I know a lot of Chinese people. If you talked to them about their government, they're convinced that they have free speech, simply because they have no interest in saying anything that might get them into trouble. Their conscience tells them that their government and their system is more ethical than ours.

Or, consider a nation like Afghanistan. As soon as they had "freedom," their consciences immediately chose religious authoritarianism to rule their country. Their consciences tell them that the opporession of women and nonmuslim views is neccessary for a moral society, and the women themselves also believe this.

Based on your approach, you have no avenue to argue against these views, since they were arrived at by a collection of peoples following their conscience. If you declare their views "wrong," then you've set up an unequal dynamic, for you're assuming your conscience is superior to theirs.

>>>You seem to suggest strongly that we must have some kind of controls upon us, because we can't count on our consciences.

Let's put it this way: let's say you're at rock bottom. You've suffered a series of terrible experiences, and you're suicidal. You've made a conscious decision to kill yourself.

Now, if you know anything about peoples' coping abilities, you'd know that such desperate feelings rarely last. Over a period of time, most suicidal people overcome their depression, and in fact they're very much relieved that they did not kill themselves, as are their family and friends.

So what would you want your friends to do, in this scenario?

Would you want them to stop you, even though it meant they would be disregarding your conscience at that time?

If you say yes to the above, then you concede that we cannot rely on our consciences. Consciences can be irresponsible and even dangerous (for example, if you were a single mother caring for an infant, your suicide could lead to the infant's death, if too many days pass before anyone enters your house.)

>>>In fact, most societies manage to balance the need for both individual rights (to live by one's conscience, for example) and a degree of order.

This is demonstrably false; there are very few free societies. Many of those that do value free speech have exceptions that most Americans would find offensive.

>>>Personally, I'm comfortable with a fair degree of variation in "conscience," and I see danger in giving primacy to a majority opinion or to an "objective" supernatural authority.

But under your view, majority always rules. If enough South Dakotans believe abortion should be banned, then we'd have to respect their consciences. In reality, your views play out much like Antonin Scalia's. His legal theories rest heavily on allowing state and local government to decide these things for themselves.

Your view rests on nothing more than the "hope" that peoples' consciences would respect opposing views. But you have no objective way to argue that it should be that way.
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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 10:20 AM
Response to Original message
14. Your second paragraph could use some work
You want to look down on religion, but protest that that doesn't make you a hater or a snob.

Sounds like magical thinking to me . . .
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lwcon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 10:39 AM
Response to Reply #14
18. I'm not saying that I look down on religious *people*
Most religious people look down on atheism. They think it's somewhere between naive and dangerous.

I think religion is somewhere between naive and dangerous. So, rather than mince words, I admit that I look down on it.

But I think we all should be able to respect each other as people (extreme fundies notwithstanding).


___

Hey, the liberal light is always on at the Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy. Please stop by and say "hi!"
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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 10:50 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. So if I look down on atheism
And you take it personally, then I'm guilty of . . . something in your eyes.

But if you look down on religion, and I take it personally, you're absolved.

I think your paragraph still needs some work.
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Arugula Latte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 11:11 AM
Response to Reply #19
27. I think that the poster is just admitting that lots of us DO look down
on religion, just like religious people (often openly and loudly and publicly) look down on atheism.

There is some sort of code that says that non-religious people need to "respect" religious beliefs. But, in reality, how do you respect a belief that you find utterly ridiculous? Seriously. If someone said: "My religious belief is that the sun revolves around the Earth, that a monster eats the sun at the end of the day, and that we are all going to do the Hokey Pokey non-stop in eternity," -- am I to seriously respect that belief? You may say that that's an extreme example, but to those of us who are not religious, belief in, for example, a son of a sky god who was born to a virgin and died for humanity's "sins" and is going to suck the believers into heaven any day now is equally as implausible.
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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 11:30 AM
Response to Reply #27
34. I'm not sure what the poster is saying
Which is why I'm posing these questions, because it looks a lot like a double standard. The poster also appears to be making some pretty broad statements about all religious people that I don't think are warranted, but Im putting that part of the discussion on hold until I can reach a little more clarity about what the poster is saying. I appreciate your attempt to speak for the poster, but Id prefer that person speak for himself or herself.
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lwcon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #34
47. The poster is saying...
... that it's wrong for Democrats like Biden to pick on atheists as "what's wrong with our party."

Where are all these proselytizizng atheists that seem to have everyone in a lather? I've never seen them.

I have, though, had Mormons walk onto my lawn during a barbecue and stare in our faces and tell us about their religion. I've had to steer around people with "You'll Burn in Hell" pamphlets as I walk down the street. I've had to endure the theo-jingoistic "God Bless America" at every stinking baseball game since 9/11. And my neighbors have funded $150 million (the Boston Archdiocese's latest settlement estimate) worth of boy rape. Oh, and some religious dudes slammed some airplanes into buildings, as best I recall.

But "heaven forbid" that atheists ask for something as small as being left off of Joe Biden's public shit list.

___

Hey, the liberal light is always on at the Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy. Please stop by and say "hi!"





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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 02:42 PM
Response to Reply #47
51. Well, that's a bit distant from where you started
Thanks for the information, it helps.
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PublicWrath Donating Member (597 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 11:24 AM
Response to Reply #19
32. I think the OP meant that individuals shouldn't be maligned just
because they are atheists. And individuals shouldn't be maligned just because they are of whichever religion.
You'll notice on tv that the invective directed against atheists, is somewhat in excess of that which would be tolerated if directed at Baptists or Methodists. I'm sure you've seen this trend on cable news.
Atheists, agnostics, are very much in season as a game animal.
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July Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #19
61. I posted about this above.
To me there is no issue if someone looks down on my views or I look down on theirs -- we don't have to agree with others' ideas, and we're free to conclude that they don't make sense, or even that they are strange, deluded, and so on (this applies to believers looking at atheists as well as to atheists looking at believers). It's not elitism, it's making up one's own mind on a subject.

It's elitism when one treats the person, rather than the ideas, as someone "lower." We should all be giving each other respect for our right to think and believe what we like, and in practice that means not shoving our opinions on others who don't want to discuss the topic, not expecting others to be like us, not demanding that our beliefs and opinions become the law. That is disrespectful of the individual person who makes up his own mind and comes to a different conclusion than we might.

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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 01:03 PM
Response to Reply #14
39. Well, there are Evangelical Atheists....
And probably some Fundamentalist ones, as well.

I'm an atheist/agnostic & totally for separation of church & state. But I don't think that makes me "better" than anyone.
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donsu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 01:19 PM
Response to Reply #39
42. that's really tricky - how can you be an atheist and agnostic at the same


time?
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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #42
45. It's an ecumenical matter....
(Just another one of my tricks.)
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July Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 04:14 PM
Response to Reply #39
62. Where are they?
I've never come across one.
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Freedom_from_Chains Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 10:31 AM
Response to Original message
17. Don't you know, anyone who puts religion too critical analysis is a
BIGOT.

It doesn't make any difference which party you are in on that issue.
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lojasmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #17
35. Critical thinkers are bigots?
How's that?
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pthalomarie Donating Member (42 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 06:10 PM
Response to Reply #17
69. the problem isn't critical analysis
...it's that too often, people critique religions without first fully understanding what they're critiquing.

for example, I've noticed that a lot of atheists engage in a contradictory process when it comes to scripture:

to begin with, they argue that fundamentalists interpret the Bible incorrectly. then they proceed to critique the Bible, based on how fundamentalists interpret it.

that's silly.
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Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 10:58 AM
Response to Original message
20. Why look down on allies?
If we're in the mood for derision, doesn't it make sense to turn it toward the arrogant, powerful Republicans and neo-Cons?

This kind of question has come up for debate among many groups, including atheists, recently -- whether believers "deserve" their disrespect. As far as I'm concerned, it's the same problem, simply with a different scapegoat. Personal beliefs about spiritual matters pale in significance to the actual efforts of a small, but extremely powerful, group of fanatics who count the President as one of their own.

Belief or disbelief in God is not nearly as important as belief or disbelief in individual dignity and humanity. The idea of "Original Sin" has led millions of Christians to kill for God. But more than one atheist political movement has held that anyone so stupid as to believe in God was deserving of ridicule, punishment, and "elimination" (I do not think they were talking about good bowel hygiene, either). These political movements, mainly Communist, were fewer in number, but counted many more overachievers among their membership. Modern Christians and Atheists alike, working for "liberal" change, have strong examples to avoid following, and I would argue that they are together in the same dilemma.

I also think that it is politically significant that The Volokh Conspiracy featured this conversation in the first place. Volokh et al. are Libertarians and Objectivists who have usually supported The War President and the Kulturkampf against Islam. This is one of the major rifts in the New Right that has been widening lately, and TVC has been consistently accurate and insightful about this rift. At least from the point of view of the Right, anyway.

--p!
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BoneDaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #20
37. They want to bash allies
cause it all comes down to that smug sense of superiority we get when we THINK we KNOW all the answers about life.

I find hardcore atheists as annoying as hard core religious, both are guilty of pride, arrogance and this sense that they KNOW the ANSWER.

I like to take the agnostic route, cause by it's very nature acknowledges "not knowing". Who the hell am I to say that I KNOW when I am simply a carbon based creature on a dying planet somewhere deep in the milky way galaxy....What hubris
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lyonn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 09:56 PM
Response to Reply #37
73. "not knowing" theory - Atheist vs. Agnostic
Agnostics don't have proof there is a god and no proof there isn't a god. Atheist just don't believe there is a god. My husband said I was an agnostic not an atheist and we proceeded to have a disagreement on the subject. Well, I finally agreed I had no proof either way but that at this point in my thinking Atheist seem to fit best. Either way doesn't matter that much does it? We will never "know".
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BoneDaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-20-06 06:36 AM
Response to Reply #73
90. Yep
so true... Buddhism seems to understand this idea better than any religious experience. Zen mind is a mind that is not burdened with "knowing". It is pure experience.
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Clark2008 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 10:54 PM
Response to Reply #37
81. Bingo.
You hit the nail on the head.

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lwcon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 01:29 PM
Response to Reply #20
44. Your subject line says it all
All I'm asking Biden and company is exactly that: "Why look down on allies?"

I'm not asking for a big atheist pride day, for anyone to "convert" to atheism, or a place in the party's platform.

Just don't make the likes of me out to be some kind of cancer on the party.

___

Hey, the liberal light is always on at the Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy. Please stop by and say "hi!"
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Freedom_from_Chains Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 06:50 PM
Response to Reply #44
71. These people of the Christian right cannot be allies
Don't you get it, they want you gone, they want you dead, or at the bare minimum they want you disenfranchised and subjected to the role of second class citizen. I am consistently astounded at the lack of understanding that Democrats have of fundamentalists.
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BoneDaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-20-06 06:43 AM
Response to Reply #71
91. I think the poster
was referring to the majority of Dems, libs, progressives who identify with a religious group and NOT Christian fundies who get marginalized by the atheistic rhetoric that demeans religion. Often right on these boards.
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BoneDaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 10:58 AM
Response to Original message
21. You just want others to see the light
Wow, sounds like a page straight from the fundamentalists posters. See this is the deal we all have our illusions about the world... Often the hardcore atheist is as rigid, inflexible and so sure they are correct that they start to look just like the religious wing nuts out there.
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donsu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 11:07 AM
Response to Reply #21
24. atheist can't be rigid or soft. if you don't believe in gods how is

that being rigid? it only appears rigid to religious people who want atheist to believe.

we are "sure" in our believing there are no gods, which is what upsets you.
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BoneDaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 11:19 AM
Response to Reply #24
30. No it doesn't upset me
I just think what you and the fundamentalists are guilty of is the same thing....SURETY, ABSOLUTISM, BEING RIGHT.

And I think that both are impossible given the level of our scientific understanding and our evolution of consciousness.
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lwcon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 03:35 PM
Response to Reply #30
56. Not guilty
I'm not an absolutist.

I think it's completely possible that there's some form of supernatural being, but seeing how absurd and dishonest organized religion is, I choose to call myself an atheist rather than an agnostic because I have no appetite for what passes for religion, and I don't believe that what any human being tells me about the supernatural has any credibility. Therefore, unless "God" shows me something directly, I don't consider myself a believer-in-waiting.

As for thinking I'm right, that's a natural human condition. If we believe something, we think we're right. I don't see how that puts one on par with the fundies. I'm not cramming my beliefs down anybody's throat, I'm just sick of anti-atheism being the last accepted prejudice.

___

Hey, the liberal light is always on at the Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy. Please stop by and say "hi!"

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BoneDaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-20-06 06:46 AM
Response to Reply #56
93. Hang on a sec
I was not referring to you. Most atheists I know are good, solid folks who, due to bad experiences with religion, intellectual investigation and such choose to call themselves atheists. That is fine for me. But there is most certainly a contingent of atheists who, like the fundamentalist mindset, show the same type of arrogance, self-importance and hubris to look down on anyone who doesn't believe what they believe.

We need to look beyond the content and surface labels (atheist vs religious) and look at the dynamics and process of what that label gives a person. Typically it is just a way for someone to feel more superior to someone else. I see that on either end of the spectrum.

I happened to like what you said as I have a similar approach to religion.
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lwcon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-20-06 07:59 AM
Response to Reply #93
95. Thanks for the clarification
I do think, if you look through the discussion, that a lot of posters -- much like quasi-holy Joe himself -- were quick to start characterizing atheists (whether they were referring to me personally or not) according to a basically fictitious model that's as bad as the fundamentalists.

The experience in this country right now is a creeping theocracy, and it's starting to break out into a trot.

Where are these atheists who "lord" it over those poor "War on Christians" victims? The easiest job in the world must be doing triage for that war. "What happened, Mrs. Applewhite -- the bad ACLU wouldn't let you run a prayer service during science class? Are you okay?"

If an atheist dares speak out, even among Democrats, the response is rarely, "Yeah, that's right. We should be against hate and discrimination of you guys just like with anybody else." Instead, it quickly turns into "You guys are just as bad as the fundies!"

We're being thrown under the bus because atheists, like LGBT voters, might scare off some soccer mom in Ohio, and people would rather we hid in the closet until the elections are over.

I want to us to retake the government more than the next guy. I'm not one of these radicals who thinks that every special-interest group needs to be front and center in the platform. I'm not looking for us to go out of our way to scare those soccer moms out of their precious supply of bejesus.

But what profiteth a party if we gain the whole government but lose our soul?
___

Hey, the liberal light is always on at the Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy. Please stop by and say "hi!"
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BoneDaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-20-06 09:02 AM
Response to Reply #95
98. No argument there
I don't disagree with anything you said in regards to the larger issues, I was more referring to the often times animosity between the religious libs and the atheist libs in here of which I hold both accountable because I have seen ridiculous statements from either side. Because it really is about all of us having freedom of expression and of finding meaning on a personal level. Good luck
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ieoeja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 11:20 AM
Response to Reply #21
31. So you do NOT want to convince others you're right?

Presumably you only feel this way about religious matters or you wouldn't be on a political board since politics is entirely about convincing people that are right.

Unless, of course, you are a DLCer in which case politics is about convincing people that you will do whatever they want.

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BoneDaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 12:32 PM
Response to Reply #31
38. NO not really
I have no desire to try and convince people of what brings them personal meaning in life as long as they aint steppin on anyone else's toes in the process.

Politics is quantifable, ethics pretty debatable, but religious authenticity and validity cannot be proven or disproven.
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PurityOfEssence Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 11:09 AM
Response to Original message
25. Non-believers are dirt in this country; religion is winning more and more
It's all fine and dandy that the believers of the left are starting to stand up and fight back, and it makes sense when the social elements of the major religions are taken into account, but the net result is to solidify religion as NECESSARY in the common consciousness.

So, if the religious left can band together and contain the reactionary believers, we may get a more nurturing and fair government, but the perception of a necessity of using religion in political discourse will have a destructive effect on the nation.

Religion doesn't play fair. Religion is a form of aristocracy, since those of the proscribed belief are "better" than others. Religion doesn't have to explain itself; pronouncements made are by definition true, and this is why it is dangerous in public debate. Mere mortals have to explain themselves and persuade others to their ideas on merit alone; believers don't.

We are one of the very last groups that can be openly derided and discriminated against, and that's not going to change anytime soon.
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A HERETIC I AM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 10:46 PM
Response to Reply #25
79. Don't throw in the towel just yet. The fastest growing segment of
relgious belief in this country is "No religion"

That is what they are really up in arms about. Reduction of influence. The religious right wants to be in control of daily life like (they think) it used to be "in the good old days".

The percentage of non-believers is growing in this country. Don't let the smoke screen fool you.
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donsu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 11:10 AM
Response to Original message
26. what about atheist neo-cons?

what about them.
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TheBaldyMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 11:14 AM
Response to Reply #26
29. they have an extra hot lake of fire reserved for them ;)
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lwcon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 02:39 PM
Response to Reply #26
49. Just curious, who are the atheist neo-cons?
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Finder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-21-06 06:53 PM
Response to Reply #49
108. Most of them...
Need to remember, they were originally educated liberals who switched sides, so to say.

If I was trying to build a movement that would believe anything, religion is the first tool I would use.
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Minnesota Libra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 01:18 PM
Response to Original message
41. I was hoping someone would EVENTUALLY mention this, liberals..............
....need to take bad the issue of religion and start showing how truly liberal Jesus was. :bounce: Neocons/fundies latched on to religion and screwed it all up and unfortunately liberals let them get away with it too. :spank:
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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #41
46. All liberals should point out that "moral issues"....
Are more than the "anti-choice/anti-gay" policies of the Religious Right.

Liberal believers are encouraged to quote Jesus, the Buddha, etc., to explain their principles. The non-religious among us can use ethical arguments that don't involve Deities. Although we still might quote Jesus the Teacher--& the Buddha didn't actually accept the "God concept."
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lwcon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 02:31 PM
Response to Reply #46
48. I agree
Sage non-Christians like Al Franken and Kurt Vonnegut frequently and eloquently make the point that the Repubs are 100% on the wrong side of the Sermon on the Mount, etc.

What Repub would dare say "blessed are the peacemakers," and do they really think they can drive their big-ass SUVs though the eye of a needle?
___

Hey, the liberal light is always on at the Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy. Please stop by and say "hi!"
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Minnesota Libra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 03:56 PM
Response to Reply #46
58. Bridget, While I don't necessarily disagree with you I do think it's.....
....."...we still might quote Jesus the Teacher" view that has allowed neocons/fundies to take over and own the religious approach. Whether we like it or not, and whether we agree or not most of America is not anti-religion and they don't view Jesus as merely "a teacher". So the sooner Liberals learn and accept that fact the sooner Liberals will begin to approach the religious issues from the point of view held by 75% of Americans. That by no means we have to become mini neocons/fundies it simply means we have to fully understand and accept most Americans view on religion and deal with the issue exactly that way. Until then Americans will naturally gravitate to neocons/fundies simply because of this one issue, even when they don't agree with neocons/fundies on much else.

How is all this accomplished? By using that Bible in our arguments for and against something but not merely from the "good teacher" approach. Actually point out every chance we get just how radically liberal Jesus was.

Anyway, just my thoughts.
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lyonn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 10:12 PM
Response to Reply #58
75. Which gets us back to the separation of church
and state. There is a really good reason for this conclusion/law. Politics should not be about religion, period. As I recall, Biden handled it fairly well if one must handle it at all. He does tend to play the middle too much but, on other points that evening he did well (for Biden).
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Minnesota Libra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-20-06 06:43 AM
Response to Reply #75
92. The point is average Americans will NEVER completely................
....seperate their religious views and politics. For the many Americans I've spoken to that would leave "the door open for communism because communism is the only form of government that bans religion completely" as one person put it. In the same group of people was someone else who went on to say, "We will never allow that.". My point at the time was, "But you are allowing religion to control politics these days and isn't that just as bad as no religion at all?" The response and overall consensus was, "Too much religion is better than banning religion and going back to the 60's."

That is my point.

Personally, I'd much rather return to the 60's but I'm simply reporting on what I've heard from members of the "middle America" group.
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lyonn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-20-06 11:20 AM
Response to Reply #92
101. Wow, there are people that really find communism an option?
Like your analogy, too much religion or no religion. That ol' black and white thinking. Here in Okla. you will find precious few that even admit they may not believe in a higher being. Fear maybe, ha. Since I have been a believer I don't object to religion, only when it becomes part of politics, or, if my life is threatened for my belief, another ha. It is refreshing to talk to people about religion and they know that you are not a "believer" and you can still have a civil discussion. One lady years ago told me she couldn't understand how I could go through life without beliving in something, like without prayer and hope through religion was how a person coped. Others will tell me they are praying for me, now that is insulting.

repubs like to accuse the (all?) Dems of being Communist/socialist, tax and spend, hate the rich types. It's one of their favorite sound bites. It is easy to see why dems who believe get haired up and maybe feel they have to explain themselves.
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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-21-06 01:37 PM
Response to Reply #58
104. There are plenty of Democratic believers who can argue from the Bible.
Good for them!

But those of us who are not currently believers should not pretend we are just to win votes. I do NOT speak disrespectfully of religion, except for the fake Christianity espoused by certain notorious members of the Religious Right.

In fact, I've gotten flack for defending Catholicism here at DU. Yes, the Church has its problems. But Catholicism is not monolithic & many of the anti-Catholic arguments are relics from our country's Puritan roots.
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lwcon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #41
53. For the most part...
... Biden made a nice case about it. If he'd drop the anti-atheist thing, which is unnecessary to making his case, I actually think he has a pretty good rap about how faith is being misused in politics.

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Orlandodem Donating Member (859 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 02:51 PM
Response to Original message
52. Now is NOT the time to talk about differences on the left.
I am a Christian. This is a very religious nation.

But I'm not interested in that. I'm interested in winning Congressional elections in 7 months.

I want to know what we are all doing at the grassroots level? Are we reaching out to our neighbors? Are we subtly dropping the phrase "culture of corruption" in political discussions around the water cooler at work? Are we talking about how we can fix health care problems? Are we talking about the environment? Do we remind our friends, relatives and coworkers that Dems ARE strong on defense. We're the party of NATO and the UN. We're the party that won WWI and WWII.
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lwcon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #52
54. That's my point!
It's Biden who wants to call some of his supporters "liberal elites." He is fabricating a division on the left.

Atheists, I guess, are just supposed to shut up and take it because "this is a very religious nation." I ask for no special treatment other than not being hung out to dry as a straw man, but apparently that's just asking too much.

As best I know, 100% of the politicians I support are religious. That's their choice, and I'm fine with it. But when they demonize us who aren't, they are doing exactly what you're complaining about.

BTW, if anyone wants to help at the grassroots level, maybe we could get a few more suggestions over here, which seems like a good place to start.

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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 03:35 PM
Response to Original message
55. Jeanine Garafalo does it all the time.
It's obnoxious and uncalled for. Not all religious people are zealots, fools and freepers. She needs to be removed from AAR for many reasons. One of them is her overt attacks on organized religion.
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lwcon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 03:41 PM
Response to Reply #55
57. Have you called in to criticize her for it?
I'd be interested in knowing what she'd say. Perhaps she'd acknowledge that she sometimes says overly sweeping things to vent about the creeping theocracy in this country. Might be worth a call to see what happens.
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Arugula Latte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #55
63. Why should she be removed for that?
Is there no place for diverse opinion on radio?

What about all the religious broadcasts attacking the non-religious? Shouldn't those people be "removed" under your logic?
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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 05:14 PM
Response to Reply #63
65. I don't think she fits the purpose or the message of AAR.
She shouldn't be removed for that alone. I think she hurts "the cause." She's scatterbrained, off message, smarmy, and just bad on radio.Sam should have that show by himself. He's very good at doing what needs to be done. And what needs to be done is electing more Democrats.
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kineneb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 04:41 PM
Response to Original message
64. belief/non-belief irrelevant to the moment
past is gone, future not here yet. Be here now. If god(s), if not god(s); doesn't matter. Only what you do.

Or to quote Zoroaster:
Think good thoughts, say good words, do good deeds.

All other argument is diversionary from the reality of now.

Have a happy zen day! :)
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rniel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 05:16 PM
Response to Original message
66. He's just listening to the polls
Anything to get elected. Just like Hillary.
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 05:18 PM
Response to Original message
67. Yes we are. The surest way to incite the deluded to violence is
to question their delusions. If they ever seriously question their beliefs it inevitably leads to the deconstruction of their entire world-view. Imagine that you've spent your entire life foregoing doing what you really wanted to do in the hope that you will receive your pay-off after you're dead. If this is not true, then you've wasted the all-to-brief time you had in this potential paradise, doing the bidding of others for their gain, while subjugating your own desires. For your whole life.
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Sparkly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 10:11 PM
Response to Original message
74. I hear you. Tolerance itself is a "wedge issue" these days.
But, dammit, some of us liberals do look down on religion, and it doesn't make us unworthy elites. Just as religious people do, we wish others would "see the light," but we're not bad or disrespectful people because of it. It doesn't make us haters or snobs.

I think I know exactly what you're saying. We don't share the belief, so on some level (rational and emotional combined) we do "look down" -- we disagree. On the other hand, we tolerate. We only ask for tolerance in return.

I didn't see the interview you referred to. I never thought I'd see the day when it became a necessity of survival for every politician to invoke God and religion, but, here we are. If they do it in ways that emphasize shared morality, fine. If they do it in ways that emphasize tolerance, fine.

But this trend toward calling out "liberal elites" -- and it IS a trend, even among some Democrats -- is pandering. It's happening not only about religion, but also about urban/rural, blue/red, "average"/"elite", "mainstream"/"other", "heartland"/"northeast" etc... It's not necessary for winning, it's not good for our country, and it's divisive.

In my opinion, it's about TOLERANCE. So if I read your post correctly, I'm right there with you.
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lwcon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 11:47 PM
Response to Reply #74
84. Thank you
I'd say that you, indeed, understood exactly what I intended.

BTW, former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Cambell has said some refreshing things on this topic in her occasional appearances on Maher's "Real Time":

CAMPBELL: You know, I don't think in Canada you could be prime minister if you were ever quoted as saying that you thought God wanted you to run, and you thought the jury was still out on evolution.

CAMPBELL : I think when we face radicals who actually don't accept the rules and don't accept the historical consensus of the separation of church and state, who have no respect for the notion of what science is, all of these kinds of things, it is so mind-boggling that people are kind of paralyzed. They don't know what to do. And so they keep thinking, Oh, it's just a marginal thing; they aren't really this focused at changing things. And yet they are.

Here, though, it's "Thank you Religious Right, please beat me over the head again with your unsatisfiable (especially by Democrats) demands for fealty. We love baby Jesus almost as much as the Republicans do, so please let us almost win your votes."
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Sparkly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 11:58 PM
Response to Reply #84
86. I'm right there with you, lwcon.
(And I love your avatar, too. The Colbert Report is therapy to me.)
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pthalomarie Donating Member (42 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-20-06 08:45 AM
Response to Reply #74
97. so let me get this straight...
Looking down on someone = tolerating them?

You're making it sound as though conservatives are onto something here.
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Blue_Tires Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 10:18 PM
Response to Original message
76. ttt n/t
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LittleClarkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 11:08 PM
Response to Original message
82. No, but there should be room for both
I hate it when people assume there are no Christian liberals, as if we are the red-headed stepchildren of the Christian community, second-hand Christians if you will. I spent too much time fending off Pat Robertson and the 700 Club in my youth (that demented leprechan was everywhere on Virginia television) to concede religion to the Republicans. They'll have to pry it out of my cold dead hands.

I'd just be happy if the theists and the atheists would just leave each other the fuck alone. I won't try to "evangelize" you if you don't come at me about my belief in the "bronze age sky fairy". Deal?
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lwcon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 11:52 PM
Response to Reply #82
85. That's the deal I work from...
...but when religion is shoved down my throat, I shove back.

While we're looking for Christian liberal heroes, is there an American alive who makes Christian values look as good as Jimmy Carter does? And for bonus points, he takes on the sanctimonious, hypocritical fundies, too.

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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-20-06 11:57 AM
Response to Original message
102. Biden is trying to reframe the debate. I'm an atheist, but I
try to use what biblical knowledge I can to frame the debate.


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lwcon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-21-06 05:16 PM
Response to Original message
107. FYI: article based on this discussion
http://vastleft.blogspot.com/2006/04/hey-bigotry-lovers...

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Eric J in MN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-21-06 07:01 PM
Response to Original message
109. I hated it when Joe Biden attacked "elites" in the Democratic Party
he DIDN'T NAME, who are supposedly disrespectful of religion.

It was like right-wing talking points.
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