December 11, 2008
Enough with the Clown Show in Olympia

The whole contretemps with the PR-challenged atheist placard in the state capitol had already passed the point of being silly before yesterday. Now, we have the great Seinfeld creation of "Festivus" and the utterly loathsome Fred Phelps joining the cast of characters too.

Uncle!

Kirby Wilbur voiced the idea in the wee hours of his show on KVI this morning that it would be better to have no displays than the current motley collection. Agreed.

There should be some level of decorum in the rotunda of the state capitol. This is not it.

Thus, we see the fruit of political correctness gone mad. Well, that and Fred Phelps reminding everyone that no one faith (or lack thereof) has a monopoly on raw stupidity and hate.

Posted by Eric Earling at December 11, 2008 07:52 AM | Email This
Comments
1. Absolute RUBBISH and not even worthy of discussion.

Posted by: Duffman on December 11, 2008 07:57 AM
2. Reminds me of the prayer in school debate. "No prayer" verses "all comers prayer"

What you would end up with is "Government approved prayer" which is a circus.

Posted by: Camille on December 11, 2008 08:08 AM
3. no- let the clown show go on. It's a very accurate reflection of Gregoire's running of the state.

It's also a self correcting problem. The athiests look like angry idiots in need of therapy who require validation of their non-faith by getting a rise out of those with faith.

The beauty of faith or non faith is that it doesn't require that others acknowledge it.


Posted by: Andy on December 11, 2008 08:33 AM
4. Megadittoes, Andy. You hit the nail on the head. It is the Governor's Office who is responsible for posting requirements. This could have been handled a lot better with a better set of rules. Putting the two displays side by side is entirely ludicrous.

Posted by: swatter on December 11, 2008 08:36 AM
5. Time for some adult leadership in Olympia. Even an inept Governor should be able to handle this situation. I guess I am expecting to much! Merry Christmas

Posted by: ROCKETMAN on December 11, 2008 08:42 AM
6. Swatter.

Did you see this mess on O-Reilly last night.
Gezzz our gov is a fool.
Plus someone what to put a sign showing something about Sinfield? What's that mess.

Posted by: Medic/Vet on December 11, 2008 08:42 AM
7. ERIC....

Don't forget the fact that Phelps is a LONG time Demo-crat too

Posted by: Medic/Vet on December 11, 2008 08:45 AM
8. Phelps isn't even a WA resident. Why does he get to glob up the capitol with his silliness?

Posted by: Michele on December 11, 2008 08:45 AM
9. Simply put: God Bless Us Everyone! :)

Posted by: Duffman on December 11, 2008 08:46 AM
10. Festivus, yes! I hope they get the pole in there. Followed by the "Airing of Grievances" and "Feats of Strength". Hilarious! Anything that exposes our inept governor for the idiot she is has my support.

Posted by: Palouse on December 11, 2008 09:01 AM
11. I beleive all such displays must be limited to the front lawn of the Governors Mansion.

Posted by: Smokie on December 11, 2008 09:02 AM
12. @ 8- Neither were the atheists that put up their silly placard...they were from Wisconsin.
Many of us predicted the Phelps gang coming in here last week and voila, right on schedule.

The Governor's head is so far up her festivanus...errr festivus, that she can't see the lighting on the "holiday" tree. Her lack of leadership on this issue is a microcosm of what is wrong with this state in general under Democrat control. As I said last week, get rid of everything but the damn tree and send the out of town circus clowns back to their hayseed communities to reek their bigoted havoc upon.

Posted by: Rick D. on December 11, 2008 09:12 AM
13. My take: since Christmas is a FEDERAL holiday, simply put up a Christmas tree, hang a Merry Christmas banner, and to all others offer a big fat "thanks but no thanks".

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on December 11, 2008 09:18 AM
14. Take the tree down, too. If people are going to act like a bunch of children, they should be treated as such.

No tree. No lights. Nothing.

Then maybe people will learn. I doubt it, but maybe.

Posted by: jimg on December 11, 2008 09:54 AM
15. I think that we conservatives are looking at this completely wrong. Kirby included.

I think the state should take all comers. Festivus? You bet. Atheists? Why not? Out of state Agnostic? Come on in! Christmas trees, nativities, menorahs, the whole shebang. India, Idaho, Japan, let them all come. Fill the place up with lights, banners, music, statues, tuna fish, aluminum poles, whatever it takes.

The only way to make this screwball exercise in PC a true mockery is to let it bloom full for all eyes to see. Make a complete fool of this state under the "leadership" of Gregoire. Imagine in a few years what the players will be. The mind boggles.

Show what a true politically correct world will be like under the graces of Christine Gregoire and the leftist boobs and boobettes. If nothing else, think of the entertainment value!

Posted by: G Jiggy on December 11, 2008 09:58 AM
16. Removing all displays is exactly what the loons want. That's why they put that angry little placard up in the first place.

The ultimate goal is removing Christmas as a Federal holiday. That's what these socialists want. As we've also seen the last couple years they are working to get rid of Thanksgiving as well.

I agree with G Jiggy. Let these nuts put up anything they want. Far better to let them show who they are than give them exactly what they want.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 11, 2008 10:09 AM
17. Dan..
since Christmas is a FEDERAL holiday,
___________________________________________

I have a even better idea. Remove this FED holiday and have everyone go back to work. The gov & union workers will flip and this trash will ASAP.

Posted by: Medic/Vet on December 11, 2008 10:14 AM
18. OOPS... (this trash will END asap)

Posted by: Medic/Vet on December 11, 2008 10:16 AM
19. Next April 20th I'm going to lobby Chris to put up an altar to Adolf Hitler in the rotunda. I wonder how that'll go over?

Posted by: Goebbels on December 11, 2008 10:17 AM
20. "Kirby Wilbur voiced the idea in the wee hours of his show on KVI this morning that it would be better to have no displays than the current motley collection. Agreed."

The best solution all around.

Posted by: pbj on December 11, 2008 10:17 AM
21. Lets not forget- our founding fathers- the Pilgrims - (you know, Thanksgiving) despised and hated both Xmas, and Easter. I dont think any of them would agree with a manger.

But they probably would agree with the Santa sending you to Hell billboard.

Posted by: HoraceSunGod on December 11, 2008 10:19 AM
22. Goeb, you are just jesting, but I have heard the guy in charge of placing displays. Yes, whenever and whatever are the basic requirements for putting up a display. All in the name of free speech.

Your hypothetical display would qualify.

Posted by: swatter on December 11, 2008 10:32 AM
23. By Horace's Pilgrim standards, one religious symbol would remain: the menorah.
The festival of lights. The feast of dedication.

Posted by: ljm on December 11, 2008 10:48 AM
24. Correction: our founding fathers are not the pilgrims. The founding fathers are the leaders involved in forming the nation at the time of the revolution.

Posted by: Nate on December 11, 2008 10:54 AM
25. I see the complaints about Gregoire, and I realize where I'm at on the internet, but what I don't see is what you'd like her to do differently.

I'm not versed enough in public vs. limited public vs. closed forum to know what law applies here, but what I haven't seen is a lawyer saying, "This can be prevented on legal grounds, and here's how."

Posted by: Ryan on December 11, 2008 11:29 AM
26. Pluralities can be messy. But we're more powerful and tolerant nation because of it. I love living in a pluralist society.

Have a Merry ChristmaRamaKwanHanukSolstiFestivus.

Posted by: Matty on December 11, 2008 11:44 AM
27. It never ceases to amaze me that any adult with an IQ over five would ever think that socialists/progressives/communists would honor a Christian based holiday without trying to demenize it thru pagan political correctness. As long as these slugs are elected/relected, this will continue to happen. A little use of Thomas Jefferson's philosophy of dealing with tyrants would be quite interesting to see.

Posted by: allan rothlisberg on December 11, 2008 12:09 PM
28. "...what I don't see is what you'd like her to do differently."

The question you need to ask yourself is why is it our Governor the only one making an ass of herself on the National stage on this issue?

Off topic, but only sort of as it ties in nicely with the mindframe of the 0.03% of miserable bastards this time of year who'd like to have the rest of us join in their pity party.

Eminent psychiatrist makes case that leftist thinking is a mental disorder
...a veteran psychiatrist is making the case that the ideology motivating [liberals]is actually a mental disorder.

"Based on strikingly irrational beliefs and emotions, modern liberals relentlessly undermine the most important principles on which our freedoms were founded," says Dr. Lyle Rossiter, author of the new book, "The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness." "Like spoiled, angry children, they rebel against the normal responsibilities of adulthood and demand that a parental government meet their needs from cradle to grave."..."The roots of liberalism - and its associated madness - can be clearly identified by understanding how children develop from infancy to adulthood and how distorted development produces the irrational beliefs of the liberal mind," he says. "When the modern liberal mind whines about imaginary victims, rages against imaginary villains and seeks above all else to run the lives of persons competent to run their own lives, the neurosis of the liberal mind becomes painfully obvious."
Full story here

The good Dr. just came to the same conclusions I arrived at about 10-15 years ago, but it's nice to have some clinical validation to go with it.

Posted by: Rick D. on December 11, 2008 12:10 PM
29. I'm sorry to have to disagree with Kirby but he is 100% wrong on this one.

This is exactly what the Atheist Hate Groups want. They are not FOR anything they are against. Like the Anarchists they wish to destroy not create.

You never give up a fight because the other side plays dirty it means you step up and fight for what is right even more.

We don't give in to their agenda, which is to get rid of Christmas, what you do is get sick and tired enough to get active and win the war.

We have been focused on these little battles, the Port removing Christmas trees, insane people making Christmas Ornaments to worship Baghdad Jim, and the anti christmas hate mongers doing this.

It reminds me of the mental midgets that buy a house next to a drag strip because it was a REALLY good deal and then start complaning about the noise every weekend. NO ONE is forcing anyone to believe in Christmas, we just expect that those that don't not be so selfish and self centered that they respect others right to believe just as we respect their right to not be involved.

It is time to put an end to this for good and take the fight to the next level and put an end to the debate about IF Christmas will be celibrated.

Posted by: Truth Detector on December 11, 2008 12:34 PM
30. Festivus?

I'm hoping that a display comprised of a "leg lamp" and a Red Ryder BB gun will show up.

Posted by: Smoley on December 11, 2008 12:54 PM
31. that she can't see the lighting on the "holiday" tree.

She can't see it from under her desk.

I see the complaints about Gregoire, and I realize where I'm at on the internet, but what I don't see is what you'd like her to do differently.

She can start by having a backbone... and crawling out from under her rock... er, desk.

It cracks me up that in the last TWO weeks O'Reilly has made a very profitable cottage industry of mocking, harrassing, exposing and embarassing the chrissy queen. You just know that liberals are forcing themselves to tune in and/or are watching the clips somewhere! I call that delicious irony.

The chrissy queen has a teapot tempest of her own making. GOOD! It's time the country knows what kind of morons run this state. Now, if we could only tie Murray, Cantwell, McDermott et al to it...

I'm on the side of letting the chrissy queen continue to hide, of allowing the displays of all comers and of showing the idiocy of mandated diversity. Expose the fools.... especially WA fools.

Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on December 11, 2008 12:55 PM
32. I say it again! Let's just remove Christmas vacation from the books. The schools, unions and gov workers(congress too) will scream so loud, that these nut fringes won't be able to find a hole deep enough to hide in.

Take away someones paid time off and see what happens.

Posted by: Medic/Vet on December 11, 2008 01:16 PM
33. ...but AM/V, you know it w/be replaced with Winter Solstice vacation. :)

Posted by: Duffman on December 11, 2008 01:19 PM
34. NO Duffie.... no vacation..We must all share the pain. (-:

But, remember it's a FED day off.

Posted by: Medic/Vet on December 11, 2008 01:32 PM
35. Horrors! State funds religious holiday - "why do atheists allow gov't workers to be off Dec. 25?"
In the spirit of the season, so to speak, I wish to offer helpful advice to these tireless workers against the Almighty. In order for their movement to be successful, they need consistency, and I have just the plan to help them achieve their end game: Atheists, in order to protect their integrity, must sue every government office to eliminate a paid Christmas holiday for federal, state and local government workers.

I honestly don't know how atheists will be able to sleep all snuggled in their beds on Dec. 24, knowing that the very next day every city, state and federal worker will be paid with taxpayer dollars so the birth of Christ can be recognized. The thought of public school teachers receiving government compensation for a religious event must cause visions of sugarplums to evaporate from their dreams.
Come to think of it, why are most government offices closed on Sundays and Saturdays? Again, terribly inconsistent. Given our current budget crises, I think the government could save money, get more work done and get rid of a holiday that clearly stands against everything that atheists believe - while also forcing everyone receiving taxpayer funds to show up for work on weekends.
Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on December 11, 2008 01:34 PM
36. I agree with Rick D at #28.

It's almost impossible to fathom the sort of individual that is so fundamentaly miserable that they want to take away such a magical holiday as Christmas.

They are extraordinarily unhappy and their only glimmmer of pleasure seems to be in making the rest of us as miserable as they are.

You'd think that if they didn't want to enjoy Christmas they'd just sit at home on Christmas Eve with their bowls of sour gruel and leave the rest of us alone.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 11, 2008 01:56 PM
37. Thank you all for confirming how best to fight government endorsement of religion! Wow, why did your god(s) make such thin-skinned whiners for believers? Rather poor P.R., for supposedly supreme being(s), one might think.

Posted by: tensor on December 11, 2008 02:12 PM
38. Hey, uh, Tensor. I'm not the smartest guy here nor am I religious by any stretch but your comment here about religion really shows how ignorant you are on the subject. You need to get beyond the thirteen-year-old view of Christianity. Really. I'm serious.

Posted by: G Jiggy on December 11, 2008 02:52 PM
39. It's really not about god, is it tensor.

It's about destroying the family traditions that have characterized western civilization. It's about moral equivalency.

It's about a liberal culture that deliberately ignores the concepts of right and wrong, and good and evil. Our graffiti covered city is a practical demonstration of what happens when a society that loses its moral compass.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 11, 2008 04:15 PM
40. Tensor (0) Bill & Jiggy (1)

Nice shot guys

Posted by: Medic/Vet on December 11, 2008 05:08 PM
41. The solution seems simple enough to me. It's probably too late for this season though but next year the governor or legislature or whoever is responsible should just set some simple requirements for placing a holiday symbol in the rotunda. It should include such things as.

1. Only symbols allowed - no signage or commentary.

2. Symbols only accepted from groups or individuals from Washington state.

3. Only symbols representing holidays or celebrations in December are accepted.

That would allow menorahs, manger scenes, Chriistmas trees, Kwanzaa candles, and similar displays. Athiests, Pagans, Druids, Wiccans, and other non conventional groups would have to come up with some sort of symbol to represent their holiday.

Posted by: RBW on December 11, 2008 05:10 PM
42. Eric:

First, this was the ENTIRELY PREDICTABLE result of Gregoire's decision to leave the atheist display up. If she didn't see this coming she is a fool. I saw it coming, as I am the one who brought up Fred Phelps' group here in SP.

Second, no, we should not have no displays: that is exactly what the atheist group wants. We should simply recognize either Christmas only, with a non-religious display, or we should recognize displays of "major" religious groups, that represent a broad number of Washingtonians, and do not overtly attack other faiths.

This is NOT HARD. It's very easy. A real leader would have already done it by now.

Posted by: pudge on December 11, 2008 05:22 PM
43. This is why we must never take away the liberals'
right to have an abortion. Eventually they will
die off and we can have our great country back
without all the nonsense.

Posted by: mark on December 11, 2008 06:02 PM
44. #12: The atheists were from WISCONSIN??? I'm sorry, but this is a state capitol and we should not be required to display stuff brought in by non-residents. It is a small matter to simply say that only state residents may place displays. That's a perfectly reasonable request. This is not for the benefit of Wisconsinites. How lame this all is!

Posted by: Michele on December 11, 2008 06:03 PM
45. @ 44: yes Michele. Anyone smarter than the Governor could recognize the circus was coming to town by letting these mutts from WI soil the Washington state Capital Rotunda in Olympia.
I posted the following exactly 1 week ago in Eric's post: ICYMI Goldy V. O'Reilly:

...Since this atheist group from Wisconsin were able to erect their sign in the Washington state capital rotunda, nothing is stopping Fred Phelps from travelling within the next 3 weeks or next year to Olympia so that he may exercise his free speech rights. Where does the insanity stop... ...Is it too late to get some butter on this popcorn? Posted by: Rick D. on December 4, 2008 01:51 PM
The question is why isn't our Governess intelligent enough to realize that every fruit and nut far and wide would make a mockery of her insipidly ignorant decision to allow every group capable of boarding transportation and joining the Carnie caravan to Olympia with their particular brand of insanity in tow?
Posted by: Rick D. on December 11, 2008 06:30 PM
46. The hilarity continues!

we should recognize displays of "major" religious groups, that represent a broad number of Washingtonians, and do not overtly attack other faiths.

Because only the government should decide which religions count! And, we all know that Christians, Muslims, Jews -- all "major" religions in the world -- have never attacked other faiths with placards. Weapons and tools of torture, yes, but not placards!

That would allow menorahs, manger scenes, Chriistmas trees, Kwanzaa candles, and similar displays. Athiests, Pagans, Druids, Wiccans, and other non conventional groups would have to come up with some sort of symbol to represent their holiday.

Yeah, maybe the pagans would call it Yule, or Saturnalia, and celebrate it at Winter Solstice. What a revolutionary idea!

You need to get beyond the thirteen-year-old view of Christianity.

This has nothing to do with my studies of Zoroastrianism, but with my correct understanding of our First Amendment, which forbids religious displays on government property for good reasons, a few of which we're seeing here. Next year, let's not have our government promote religion. (Aren't there tax-exempt buildings you could use to promote your beliefs?)

And Bill, for the zillionth time, no one's trying to take your toys away from you on Christmas. Come down to Westlake Park, look at the beautiful tree, buy some presents for people you like, and enjoy the season with the rest of us in Seattle. Have a holiday beer at one of our many microbreweries, and relax! If it can work for this atheist, it can work for you! Season's Greetings!


Posted by: tensor on December 11, 2008 07:15 PM
47. I am not Christian. I do not believe in God. This does not mean that I have nothing to live for, that I have no beliefs, or that I want to "destroy the family traditions that have characterized western civilization."

I will, however, be celebrating Christmas with my family. I will, as I have done for years, go to midnight services on Christmas Eve with my family. Why? Because I love the excuse to see my family and celebrate the reasons we have to be happy, and because while I disagree with some parts of Christianity, I agree completely with the values that are celebrated around Christmas by both my family and the church I'll be attending.

Judging all atheists by the extremists is just as unfair as it would be to judge all Christians by the actions of Fred Phelps.

But look at the comments you've written. It's easy for me to understand why some atheists feel the need to fight religion or say it breeds hate when I see these comments. In this thread, I have seen suggestions that:

The country would be better if all the liberals died.
This idea, repeated again and again, that atheists don't stand for anything, which is based on nothing but mischaracterizations and misperceptions.
That the liberal culture "deliberately ignores the concepts of right and wrong."

"It never ceases to amaze me that any adult with an IQ over five would ever think that socialists/progressives/communists would honor a Christian based holiday without trying to demenize it thru pagan political correctness." What is this? Why do you have to go out of the way to attack people who disagree with you? I'm looking forward to decorating our Christmas tree. I'm looking forward to all the carols. And I know many other atheists who are like me, who enjoy celebrating religious holidays and have no desire to take these away or co-opt them.

I'm sorry that the atheist who made the sign chose to place a divisive message rather than one celebrating the positive beliefs of atheists. But when I read comments like the ones here, and others I've seen and heard elsewhere, it's hard not to feel even more polarized.

Posted by: Icarus on December 11, 2008 07:54 PM
48. If I ever see Fred Phelps, I will be in his face. He is a maggot.

Posted by: All Facts Support My Positions on December 11, 2008 08:18 PM
49. Twas the fortnight to Solstice and all through the state,
A tiny placard made christians irate;

An Atheists placard had been set in the hall
in hopes of truth, and of justice for all;

The christians did protest the sign they did dread
they wished all the atheists would all turn up dead;

On all of their keyboards did they righteously tap
blogosphere posts of hate and of crap;

The media spoke and they talked of the matter,
and the internet buzzed with all sorts of chatter;

Away to the net I flew like a flash,
Launching my browser and clearing its cache;

By noon the excitement had started to grow,
after O'Reilly had Goldy guest on his show;

And then came Kirby who just had to appear,
to stoke some more hate to spread some more fear;

So lilly livered, so dense and so thick,
I knew in a moment this was O'Reilly's old schtick;


More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
"Now, Wilbur! now, Ingraham! now, Limbaugh and Hewitt!
On, Beck! on Levin! on, Prager and Bennett!
Let's get the free thinkers! Let's get them all!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"


As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So out on the airwaves the coursers they flew,
With talk radio boys, a few girls of talk too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the air
They'd stolen the sign and hadn't a care.

They cherished their trophy, and passed it around,
until at a country station it finally was found.
Never mind the commandment they broke, they all had a hoot,
though their names were all tarnished with the ill-gotten loot;

A capital guard took the sign in a sack,
And he put the placard back on its rack;
the christians did protest, did whine and did pray!
The christians they marched on the capitol that day!

They phoned up the governor, just so she would know
they have hegemony, they run the show;

They spoke of their god that's out of our reach,
to hell with the atheists, to hell with free speech;

They'll fight like the old days, like in the Crusades,
When they killed all the infidels who hadn't obeyed.

They were smug and vengeful, and full of them self,
They'd put the bible as law, the constitution on a shelf;

They'd throw out free thought, throw out all the science,
No invention of man to hell with our reliance;

They shouted with anger, with pain and frustration
They'd force us to be an all christian nation.

I thought of their chants and of their angry invection,
then I recalled the results of our recent election;
Of how they were trounced, a resounding rejection.

They're full of hot air, the bluster of fools,
they like to hear themselves talk, like small minded tools.

So to all of you out there, just let me say,
acceptance is right, it's the American way.

They'll be no more christian sword point conversions,
no more hypocritical casting aspertions,
no more judging you bad while priests do perversions.

We are not a christian nation in any way shape or form,
our secular traditions, those are the norm.

Hateful christians, those oh so vocal few,
will shout and will scream, their vile hateful spew.
Be happy the majority reject their harsh view.


So greet those you meet and be sure to recite:

"Happy Holidays to all, and to all a good-night."

Posted by: Reason on December 11, 2008 08:22 PM
50. Wow, one placard has in one fell swoop destroyed christmas and Western Civilization. Someone should have told this to the terrorists and would hve saved lives.

Posted by: Reason on December 11, 2008 08:26 PM
51. In the other thread I mentioned my run-in with King County Library System a few years ago. over their decision to remain open on Easter, a holiday celebrated by over 80% of Americans. They claimed they were acting on behalf of the "few" employees who wanted to EARN that day.

Lo and behold, I'm returning some books this afternoon and they have a sign announcing they will be closed not only on December 25 (as expected) but on DECEMBER 24.

Excuse me? An ordinary Wednesday?

Can onyone tell me what federal holiday is observed on December 24th?

Do the same employees who caused the change in policy (during a roaring economy) for Easter because they needed the work not need the work MORE in a liberal economy?

More stench of hypocrisy... if you spelled it with the letters BS

Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on December 11, 2008 08:28 PM
52. I should feed Phelps to a lion..... Just like prophesy...... These creeps make real christians look real bad. If the Phelps Crew ever show up outside a soldier's funeral I am at, it will get ugly.

Posted by: All Facts Support My Positions on December 11, 2008 08:31 PM
53. 2 thoughts:

1--place down prayer rugs & watch the show escalate
2--ask yourself who keeps re-voting these dikkeds in for more terms

a gun can not stop its owner from firing itself into its owner's foot

Posted by: jimmie-howya-doin on December 11, 2008 08:34 PM
54. bringing MY displays too--

a big red model Monopoly Hotel Marker--Happy Barney Frank's Fannie Day !

Posted by: jimmie-howya-doin on December 11, 2008 08:57 PM
55. Kirby is absolutely right.
Better to have no displays at all on government property.

That is the whole point of the atheist's sign. We need to stick to the social truce that is the separation of church and state. No sect, no faith, no religion, no philosophy may use government property to promote its views.

If you want to put up a Christmas tree, or a menorah, or an atheist statement, get yourself some private space. But you can't use government property.

Kirby Wilbur is right on the money.

Posted by: Bruce Guthrie on December 11, 2008 10:27 PM
56. "Kirby is absolutely right.Better to have no displays at all on government property."

I would agre with the obvious exception of a longstanding tradition of the secular Christmas tree. The tree is granfathered in, everything else out.

"That is the whole point of the atheist's sign.

No. The point of the atheist sign was to denigrate and ridicule all religions.
Buy a clue, Bruce.

Posted by: Rick D. on December 12, 2008 05:19 AM
57. What a joke. WA is a laughing stock. This is what happens when we allow statism to grow. A bunch of bureaucrats and politicians exist in a surreal world where this nonsense passes for government.

Posted by: Jeff B. on December 12, 2008 05:38 AM
58. jimmie-howya-doin @ 54:

Still laughing at your "Happy Barney Frank's Fannie Day!"

....Coming to a "don't drop the soap" bath house near you.....!

Posted by: Saltherring on December 12, 2008 06:35 AM
59. Christmas is still a Federal & State holiday when I last checked. Trying to eliminate or prevent the expressions of that holiday in our government buildings would not make sense. When the atheists get their day, we can reconsider.

Posted by: Susu on December 12, 2008 08:50 AM
60. As much as I hate to say it, Washington gets what they deserve if they consistantly choose to vote the Democrat Party ticket. Liberals hate solid, American values as much as Al Qaeda does and this latest donnybrook at the State Capitol proves as much.

Queen Christine can hide behind the tired safety of "free-speech" hyperbole, but it's obvious that she welcomes the signs of hate. She probably hates Christmas herself but is too gutless to freely admit such. She has the power to do what's right, but is too spineless to do so in fear of incuring the wrath of the uber-liberal, Atheist groups that got her elected.

It's funny, but most, if not all, liberals are equally all gutless wimps when it comes to taking a stand for their own personal lives, but have no problem doing whatever it takes to make others lives completely miserable. Why is that? They use excuses like "everybody is special" when it comes to their making a decision regarding or affecting their own personal lives at the risk of affecting other's lives, but it's all about hate and divisivness when it comes to decisions that affect only others lives and not their own, especially if those other lives are the majority, as is the case with the citizens that want the tree to stand alone and left to represent exactly what's it's supposed to - Christian values regarding the holiday of Christmas, which as been part of the bedrock foundation of this country from the beginning.

This isn't a concept that's new and therefore up for debate. Christmas is what it is and if the Atheistic excrement want to have their own display, let them, just not next to ours. But they won't and can't do that as no one would pay any attention and they know that, hence this disgusting display of their "values" with hateful, abusive, derogatory and offensive signage.

Whatever. I happen to disagree with the "nothing at all" in the rotunda angle. The Christmas Tree stays and all other signage goes. Let them sue all they want, but by the time it actually gets somewhere, Christmas is over and then who cares about the pathetic and sad Atheist?

It's totally frustrating that no one has the guts to do the right thing and are instead more than willing to just let things go as they will. I happen to live too far away and am disabled so as much as I would like to take each and every sign out of the State Capitol that goes against the spirit and values of Christmas, I can not. But I know that other can, but refuse to out of some misguided fear of what I don't know. And again, the uber-liberal, Atheistic Democrat Party knows this. Just as the schoolyard bully will continue to terrorize others because no one is willing to stand up to him, so too will the Democrat Party. But the first time you knock their teeth down their throat and smash their nose, they back off real quick, so why not bloody their nose in this case? Let them all know that we're not going to let them push us around anymore!!

But again, Washingtonians have no reason nor right to cry and complain if they continue to vote the Democrat Party ticket time after time. I guarantee that this wouldn't even be an issue if Rossi had been elected.

Guaranteed.

One more thing: can anyone tell me what the difference is between the Islamo-facist hatred for our core values and the hatred of those same values coming from the uber-liberal, secular-progressive, excrement smeared Democrat Party left?

I can't see any.

Posted by: Thirteenburn on December 12, 2008 09:08 AM
61. Bruce Guthrie:

Better to have no displays at all on government property. That is the whole point of the atheist's sign.

Which is a damned fine reason to HAVE such displays on government property. Don't give in to the assholes.


We need to stick to the social truce that is the separation of church and state. No sect, no faith, no religion, no philosophy may use government property to promote its views.

That has NEVER been a part of this country. EVER. C'mon Bruce, you're smarter than that.

Posted by: pudge on December 12, 2008 10:07 AM
62. tensor:

Because only the government should decide which religions count!

I never implied any such thing. Nice straw man fallacy. What I said is that numbers get to determine whether a display is allowed in the capitol. That doesn't mean only those religions "count," it means we recognize the fact that numbers matter. It's why we have recognition for Native Americans and other ethnic groups, but not every ethnic group with a few people in it.


And, we all know that Christians, Muslims, Jews -- all "major" religions in the world -- have never attacked other faiths with placards.

I know you are not so stupid you think you are making a valid point here. We are not talking about things that have happened, we are talking about holiday displays in the Capitol rotunda. I am not saying atheists should not have overt attacks on other views, I am saying NO ONE should have them IN THIS VENUE. Another straw man fallacy.

Can you present a single argument against what I said that is NOT a fallacy? I won't hold my breath.


my correct understanding of our First Amendment, which forbids religious displays on government property

No, the First Amendment does no such thing, in fact. Please actually read it.


Next year, let's not have our government promote religion.

You're lying. Our government did not promote religion. Allowing a religious display on government property is NOT the same thing as government promoting religion. It is recognizing the culture of its citizens, not promoting those cultures.


Season's Greetings!

Is it summer already? That's what I say in July.

Posted by: pudge on December 12, 2008 10:07 AM
63. Can you imagine me agreeing with Rick D. I say put up a christmas tree in the Capitol. Err.... holiday tree.... None of the folks that wrote about Jesus in the bible could get their stories straight anyway. Why push it.....

Posted by: All Facts Support My Positions on December 12, 2008 10:52 AM
64. The left always returns to that idiotic "government promotes religion" argument.

It's the same loopy kind of thinking that was certain that Bush was going to impose a theocracy on the country. Didn't exactly happen.

Tensor and others can pretend otherwise but it is more than evident that their ultimate goal is to eliminate Christmas as a holiday. Then they'll go after Thanksgiving.

It's interesting that leftists seem only to fear Christianity as a barrier to their socialist dreams.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 12, 2008 10:52 AM
65. I'm interested to know what you guys think would have happened with these displays in the capitol had Dino Rossi been elected governor?

Posted by: Smoley on December 12, 2008 11:43 AM
66. Well, that obviously would have been up to the BIAW. :) .....just kidding

Posted by: Duffman on December 12, 2008 11:51 AM
67. Smoley, if Dino had won on all three counts in 2004 instead of just the first two, no doubt he would have come up with a sane solution: either no religious displays; or a restriction of displays from some combination of significant backing by WA population/no placards/no overt attacks on other views, etc.; or he would have sat the groups down and worked out a compromise.

He would not have let this insanity pass.

Posted by: pudge on December 12, 2008 12:21 PM
68.
"Here is where Gregoire and other Olympia liberals' erroneous interpretation of free speech and the 1st Amendment breaks down," he said. "In their world, it's okay to verbally pummel tens of thousands of Christians and disrespect their holidays, but don't you dare open your mouth disparagingly about a minority religion or a deviant sexual lifestyle or you will likely be fired and/or charged with a hate crime." Stickney summarizes: "The constitutional right to exercise free speech anytime and anywhere applies to liberals and their politically correct causes and classifications only."
Dan Barker, co-president of FFRF says it is only fair for them "to also have a place at the table." More likely, the sign is a great publicity stunt for the group, for why else would they have chosen the month of December to display it? One atheist said in a popular blog they found "the idea of celebrating the Winter Solstice almost as absurd as celebrating Christian holidays". For Mr. Barker's information, winter solstice celebrations are an ancient pagan festival, from a polytheist religion. (Oops! We thought they said they are against all religion. It looks like ones worshipping many gods is OK with them although they say differently in their sign.) Another atheist online took exception with the sign saying that the attack on religion is making a bad name for atheism. Barker and the FFRF (Freedom From Religion Foundation) are obviously using the winter solstice in December as a poor excuse to express their hatred towards Christians who celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ at Christmas and Jewish observers of Hanukkah. A "Holiday tree," aka Christmas tree, has been displayed for the last nineteen years and in the past, a Jewish menorah has also displayed by a private group.

***
Episode 2: The Christians Strike Back

"Why believe in a god?"
"Why Believe? Because I created you and I love you, for goodness' sake. - God."

Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on December 12, 2008 01:25 PM
69. It isn't that Barker only wants "to also have a place at the table" it's that he wants atheistic socialism to be the only table.

It has much to do with the sorts of meanies that populate the left. They want nothing less than to tell all of us what we can believe, what we can drive, and ultimately what we can eat and drink.

These are not nice people. They are control freaks.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 12, 2008 01:54 PM
70. Tensor @ #46:
I sez: "You need to get beyond the thirteen-year-old view of Christianity."

You sez to what I sez: "This has nothing to do with my studies of Zoroastrianism, but with my correct understanding of our First Amendment, which forbids religious displays on government property for good reasons, a few of which we're seeing here. Next year, let's not have our government promote religion. (Aren't there tax-exempt buildings you could use to promote your beliefs?)"

Huh? Just because you subscribe to a marginalized 5th or 6th century religion and can actually spell it doesn't mean that you understand Christianity on a most elemental level. And, like I said befo', you don't. But, you know what I like about your post? That smarmy, pseudo intellectual clap trap you use to try and convince people how smart you are. "Zoroastrianism". Ha, ha, ha!! Kinda reminds me of Eddie Haskell fishing for a big word to impress Mrs. Cleaver. You crack me up.

Beyond Tensor The Studious, the key part of this whole thing for me is that the tree and the menorah are symbols of faith and the season (Celebrating the "festival of light" or Tannenbaum for some). The Atheist placard is just a verbal statement of derision. It has nothing to do with the solstice, winter or anything else for that matter. It is simply a teenage diatribe written to hurt religious believers. If "freedom of speech" and equal representation were the point here, a symbol of Atheist dogma would be used (whatever that may be I don't know) or a symbol of the Winter Solstice without comment.

As a free speech issue I don't get it other than the Atheists believe that they have the right to do whatever they want wherever they want whenever they please without context or proportionality. And the Supremes have settled that quite some time ago. You can't.

As a "Freedom from religion" issue it is completely moot because the religion clause is, unlike Tensor the Studious believes, Freedom of religion meaning you can practice whatever religion you want without state intervention or endorsement. Being that Atheism is not a religion (according to them) they don't apply here and they should not be allowed to participate. Furhtermore, the multiple exhibits that are there mean that no particular endorsement has been given by the state.

Posted by: G Jiggy on December 12, 2008 03:36 PM
71. Yeah, maybe the pagans would call it Yule, or Saturnalia, and celebrate it at Winter Solstice. What a revolutionary idea!

Nothing revolutionary about that. A Yule Log would be fine. If they come up with some sort of symbol of Saturnalia, that would be fine too.

Posted by: RBW on December 12, 2008 04:07 PM
72. Well all the whiny christians are about I see. The armchair christian legal experts lecturing everyone else on what is or isn't free speech.

Why don't you cultists file a lawsuit and we will see how far you get with it. You won't of course because you KNOW you are dead wrong. But I certainly hope you DO file a lawsuit to put on display how much your cult wants hegemony over this nation. That ALONE will keep you nuts in the minority of elected respresentatives for at least 40 years!

Posted by: Evil Atheist on December 12, 2008 04:37 PM
73. The REAL clown show begins when the legislature tells the state employee unions that there will be no contract until it is renegotiated.

Posted by: Joe Band Member on December 12, 2008 04:54 PM
74. The only whiny folks I've seen in the last 40 years are people like you, Evil Atheist. Every December you whine about Christmas.

Exactly as I said earlier in this thread you're totally paranoid about some "cult" that wants "hegemony over this nation".

Hmmm, would that "cult" perhaps not be Christianity, but socialism?

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 12, 2008 04:57 PM
75. 2008, O'Reilly is about humiliating our cowardly moron calling herself governor and garnering huge viewership doing so.

AND by forcibly insulting themselves into a RELIGIOUS display of a Nativity and Menorrah, the atheists and the moron governor have declared them another RELIGION.

No wonder they and the chrissy queen agree on so much...not a brain between them.

Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on December 12, 2008 06:13 PM
76. "The only whiny folks I've seen in the last 40 years are people like you, Evil Atheist. "

Well Bill, if you'd pull your head out of your rear end, you might see the whiny christians. I don't see any atheists staging protests, claiming the end of western civilization because of a chrisian placard.

There are no storm troopers confiscating your crosses and nativity scenes from your private property. What you want is complete government endorsement of your religion. And how pathetics is it that you require the government to endorse your religion?

Nope. No ten commandments in the court room, no religious memorabilia of any kind should ever be allowed to adorn the infrastructure of government. Or would you like a large image of Mohammed engraved on the state capital?

Posted by: Evil Athiest on December 12, 2008 08:18 PM
77. God bless all Atheists. They need it more than most.

Posted by: starboardhelm on December 12, 2008 09:26 PM
78. I wonder if this shyt happens in China, Yemen or any So Amer country;

sure--atheists can spout, but how many--of any view--can do this elsewhere in the open on govt soil? not dragged out at night? not in a gulag?

me thinks the left knows not what REAL opression is...funny--they live here...under protections won by the spilled blood of many American patriots...

a circus, true--but the fact that a circus exists is a testament to freedom...let's not lose that lesson

Posted by: jimmie-howya-doin on December 12, 2008 10:08 PM
79. Evil Atheist:

Well all the whiny christians are about I see. The armchair christian legal experts lecturing everyone else on what is or isn't free speech.

I prefer to think of it as "informing."


Why don't you cultists file a lawsuit and we will see how far you get with it.

Do you know what "cult" means? There's multiple definitions; if you are intending to use it pejoratively, then you are using it incorrectly. (Again, just trying to inform you.)

As to a lawsuit: no one (that I see) is saying Gregoire is doing anything illegal, so why would anyone sue? Do you even know what a lawsuit is? If not, let me know, I can lecture^Winform you.


I don't see any atheists staging protests, claiming the end of western civilization because of a chrisian placard.

Um. The placard that started this all WAS a protest by atheists against religion, claiming that religion has significantly harmed civilization. Where have you been?


There are no storm troopers confiscating your crosses and nativity scenes from your private property.

Right, which is why no one is asking for a lawsuit. Similarly, contrart to popular leftist belief, no one was trying to confiscate anything from atheists' private property when they asked Gregoire to take down their display.


What you want is complete government endorsement of your religion.

You're lying.


No ten commandments in the court room, no religious memorabilia of any kind should ever be allowed to adorn the infrastructure of government.

That's your opinion, but the law certainly does not state or imply that.


Next time you post, maybe don't get EVERYTHING wrong. Try to get SOMETHING right. Seriously. Something. Anything.

Posted by: pudge on December 13, 2008 12:22 AM
80. Well Pudge what makes the leftists mad is when we start getting wise to what they're doing.

Indeed we are involved in a cultural war, though the socialists try to make it a religious war.

They hate O'Reilly because he has the courage to call out the left's mean spirited political correctness, which shows up on cue every Christmas. And now it's started showing up at Thanksgiving as well.

These sad, unhappy, angry folks never stop hammering away.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 13, 2008 09:05 AM
81. Pudgie,

Your music sucks and so does your legal advice. If you are so damn smart as a lawyer, why aren't you practicing? Your music "career" certainly isn't taking off.

You haven't a clue as to what legally constitutes free speech and what does not. Yet that never stops couch potato lawyers like yourself does it?


"You're lying."

That is the Pudgie knee jerk response when he cannot come up with anything, to accuse everyone of lying, and then stuff a ho ho in his mouth.

"That's your opinion, but the law certainly does not state or imply that."

It is called the establishment of religion clause of the first amendment. There is precedence (that's a legal term ho ho breath). And one of your fellow cultist who became a judge found out the hard way. FORMER Alabama judge Roy Moore was given the boot when he tried to slip in his religious regalia into the court house in dark of night.

http://www.cnn.com/2003/LAW/11/13/moore.tencommandments/index.html


"Right, which is why no one is asking for a lawsuit."


You aren't asking for a lawsuit because you KNOW your butts would be kicked all over the place. You cultists DID file a lawsuit in order to get displays allowed. Stop your damn lying. If you cultists could make this go away with a lawsuit, you'd be there faster than you can down a dozen ho hos.

"Similarly, contrart to popular leftist belief, no one was trying to confiscate anything from atheists' private property when they asked Gregoire to take down their display."

So when the christians STOLE the sign, they weren't trying to confiscate anything? LIAR!

What is a "contrart"? It sounds like something you eat other than ho hos?
"Do you know what "cult" means? There's multiple definitions; if you are intending to use it pejoratively, then you are using it incorrectly. (Again, just trying to inform you.)"

Multiple definitions below apply to you cultists.

cult
   /kʌlt/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [kuhlt] Show IPA Pronunciation
-noun
1. a particular system of religious worship, esp. with reference to its rites and ceremonies.
2. an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, esp. as manifested by a body of admirers: the physical fitness cult.
3. the object of such devotion.
4. a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.
5. Sociology. a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols.
6. a religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader.
7. the members of such a religion or sect.
8. any system for treating human sickness that originated by a person usually claiming to have sole insight into the nature of disease, and that employs methods regarded as unorthodox or unscientific.
-adjective
9. of or pertaining to a cult.
10. of, for, or attracting a small group of devotees: a cult movie.

Posted by: Evil Athiest on December 13, 2008 10:47 AM
82. What was that I was saying about these people being angry?

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 13, 2008 10:53 AM
83. Pudgie,

Just wanted to follow up on the last comment of yours at 80. You won't get this, but maybe someone who thinks logically will stumble upon this site and see it isn't ONLY inhabited by religious freaks.

"Next time you post, maybe don't get EVERYTHING wrong. Try to get SOMETHING right. Seriously. Something. Anything." Pudgie - post 80

Um so when I said "There are no storm troopers confiscating your crosses and nativity scenes from your private property." That was not correct?

That is what you stated in post 80 in regards to my post at 77. So for that to be true, there WOULD be storm troopers confiscating nativity scenes from private property. Are you saying there ARE storm troopers confiscating nativity scenes from private property? Or were you just LYING when you said "Next time you post, maybe don't get EVERYTHING wrong. " in post #80?

But then you did respond "Right, which is why no one is asking for a lawsuit."

So you must have been LYING when you stated "Next time you post, maybe don't get EVERYTHING wrong. " in post #80, even your own words contradict what you said int he very same post.

Perhaps if you ate less ho hos and used your brain, you wouldn't contradict yourself.

I fully expect you won't acknowlegde or even recognize this. Like a robot you will come in and post "your lying" as a response, because that is what chubby Pudgie ho ho brained people like yourself do.

Posted by: Evil Atheist on December 13, 2008 11:02 AM
84. "What was that I was saying about these people being angry? "

Um I dunno. Only angry people I have seen were the angry christians marching on the capital and the angry O'Reilly screaming on the TV.

Happy Holidays to you Bill.

Posted by: Evil Atheist on December 13, 2008 11:06 AM
85. Um, just what exactly are people who post comments such as, "that is what chubby Pudgie ho ho brained people like yourself do."

I'd call 'em pretty danged angry myself.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 13, 2008 11:11 AM
86. Why would a business want to locate in Washington State?

The obvious vacuum of leadership is glaring. If they can't handle this issue, how can they handle getting out of a $6 Billion deficit they themselves created just a few short years ago?

Posted by: dawg on December 13, 2008 11:34 AM
87. "Um, just what exactly are people who post comments such as, "that is what chubby Pudgie ho ho brained people like yourself do."

Truthful, accurate.

Posted by: Evil Atheist on December 13, 2008 11:59 AM
88. Don't you just love the courage of folks like "evil atheist"? That small little person has lots of insults to hurl, but is oh so afraid he/she/it has to lie with his/her/its email address.

Another attention whore... can you bleat "bahhh"?

I wonder if he/she/it realizes what an oxyMORON his/her/its name is... to acknowledge evil is to acknowledge its opposite and the sources of both.


Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on December 13, 2008 12:03 PM
89. As Andrew said at #3 atheists look like angry idiots in need of therapy.

I'm not all that big of a fan of therapy but I do think the left,(which is not entirely made up of atheists), generally attracts highly unhappy people. It also attracts control freaks, the sort of unpleasant people we've gone to school and worked with. These are the people who force us to wear seatbelts and bicycle helmets. If they have their way they'll force all of us to be vegetarians.

As any conservative knows it's nearly impossible to have any coherent discussion with liberals. Try mentioning that you watch Fox News for example and you'll get an earful. Of course they've never actually watched Fox but we are talking about people with some serious prejudices.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 13, 2008 12:25 PM
90. "As Andrew said at #3 atheists look like angry idiots in need of therapy."

ROFL

As opposed to the screaming lieks of O'Reilly and christian protesters at the capital.

Happy Holidays to you Bill. May you anger be contained this holiday.

Posted by: Evil Atheist on December 13, 2008 12:36 PM
91. Happy Holidays to you Bill. -Posted by Evil Atheist at December 13, 2008 11:06 AM

Oh, this is fun!

holiday

haligdæg, from halig "holy" + dæg "day;" in 14c. meaning both "religious festival" and "day of recreation," but pronunciation and sense diverged 16c. [Middle English holidai, holy day, from Old English hālig dæg : hālig, holy; see holy + dæg, day; see day.] See holy, day

Holiday

Hol"i*day\, n. [Holy + day.]
1. A consecrated day; religious anniversary; a day set apart in honor of some person, or in commemoration of some event. See Holyday.

What "holidays" are you referring to?
December 25?
January 1?

LMAO @ you foolish little child!

The Catholic Church recognized/assigned those as HOLYdays long before they were adopted as secular/legal "holidays":

December 25, the solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ
January 1, the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

Words have MEANING ... sheesh I keep telling you kiddies that!

Sucks to be ignorant, eh?

Happy HOLYdays to you, too.

Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on December 13, 2008 12:42 PM
92. Hmmm Evil Atheist you must never have attended any sort of leftist protest. Now there's a chance to behold some serious screaming. We conservatives tend not to do a lot of that sort of thing.

Personally, leftists can't ruin my Christmas. What they do want to ruin is Christmas for the generations to come. They've been hard at work at it for a long time.

You've got to be getting older to remember when we had "Christmas Vacation". Now it's the insipid, politically correct "Holiday Break". Always, always the left keeps pushing their agenda.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 13, 2008 12:52 PM
93. Rags,

Um so Fourth of July as a HOLIDAY is really a HOLY DAY? And what religious celebration is that?

Holiday is a contraction of holy and day, holidays originally represented special religious days. This word has evolved in general usage to mean any extra special day of rest (as opposed to regular days of rest such as the weekend).

You are so ignorant it is amusing. You think somply by saying ans repeating ad nauseum that holiday has the HOLY in it means it is a christian word?

Au contraire mon ami! HOLY does not equal christian or even religious. Let us look at the meaning of the work HOLY shall we Rags?

Holy
Pronunciation:
\ˈhō-lē\
Function:
adjective
Inflected Form(s):
ho·li·er; ho·li·est
Etymology:
Middle English, from Old English hālig; akin to Old English hāl whole -- more at whole
Date:
before 12th century

1: exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness
2: divine
3: devoted entirely to the deity or the work of the deity
4 a: having a divine quality b: venerated as or as if sacred

5--used as an intensive ; often used in combination as a mild oath
-- ho·li·ly Listen to the pronunciation of holily \-lə-lē\ adverb


Ergo Holidays or (Holy Days) does not mean religious days. Even your own provided definitions in post 92 state:

"day of recreation,"

"What "holidays" are you referring to?"
"December 25?"
"January 1?"
Rags, you simply must get a new calendar. There are over 60 Holidays in the year for all of humankind, not just two! Christians apparently only have two. No wonder you guys are always so angry.

Happy Holidays to Rags and Bill!

Posted by: Evil Atheist on December 13, 2008 01:15 PM
94. "Hmmm Evil Atheist you must never have attended any sort of leftist protest. Now there's a chance to behold some serious screaming. We conservatives tend not to do a lot of that sort of thing."

Not a "LOT". ROFL

Posted by: Evil Atheist on December 13, 2008 01:24 PM
95. Actually the only time I participated in a right wing protest march was during the controversy following the 2000 election.

We were orderly and well behaved. The only disruption came from left wingers who were on the sidewalks and hanging out of windows screaming obscenities and giving us the finger.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 13, 2008 02:45 PM
96. Um so Fourth of July as a HOLIDAY is really a HOLY DAY? And what religious celebration is that?...There are over 60 Holidays in the year for all of humankind, not just two!

Re 94: My God, he makes my head hurt.

Let me think ... which came first... the 14th century or July 4, 1776 (which was actually first celebrated on July 8th.... and not declared a legal "holiday" until 1941).

In his inept, illogical, and immature way, this poor little fool is trying to convince himself/anyone that because there are more secular 'holidays' that somehow diminishes or negates the origins of the word and the histories from whence they came.

... THEN uses/links a definition to disprove the assertions of his own silliness.

Dude, if daddy paid for your education, he should get his money back.

Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on December 13, 2008 02:49 PM
97. The only disruption came from left wingers who were on the sidewalks and hanging out of windows screaming obscenities and giving us the finger.

That reminds me of when our youngest, still in Catholic Elementary school, we went with his class to the Pro-life march in Olympia.

Those supposedly 'adult' pro-borts screamed and gestured the most vile, ugly, vicious things at the CHILDREN who were marching with their signs.

Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on December 13, 2008 02:53 PM
98. Daddy didn't have to pay for his education Ragnar. This is what the leftists that run public education in this country teach. And if that isn't sufficient brainwashing he can watch NBC or PBS, listen to NPR, or read the P-I.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 13, 2008 02:56 PM
99. #98, not surprising in the least. Fear that they won't be able to kill unborn children at their convenience is behind much of the annual war on Christmas.

These are not nice people.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 13, 2008 03:03 PM
100. Seriously, Bill and Ragnar, can you tone it down a little? There is a discussion to be had about what type of display should be allowed using government resources/property. How does repeatedly calling all atheists sad, angry, illogical, immature, etc. further this?

Do you want to stir up name calling rather than rational discussion? In post 47 I wrote a rational, mature entry. I was not angry. I was not mocking you. I was not calling you names. All I see coming from you is repeated accusations that I, as a liberal, must be unhappy, want to wage war on Christmas, and want to kill unborn children.

Above all else, please stop saying that liberals want to 'ruin Christmas.' I do not understand where this comes from. I am very liberal and associate mostly with liberals. The majority celebrate Christmas and I don't know a single person who would have anything to do with people out to destroy Christmas.

Bill, you say you are interested in a coherent discussion. Then please focus on the issues rather than the insults. I'm not angry about comments like these, but they do sadden me. They make me sad because I want to embrace the possibility of having a dialogue about issues we all free strongly about and learning why others believe differently. But all of that gets drowned it if everyone (on both sides) succumbs to the easy insults.

Posted by: Icarus on December 13, 2008 04:00 PM
101. I'm always amused when liberals say they "want to have a dialogue about issues we feel strongly about" Icarus.

That's a phony way of saying you want everything to mirror your liberal views. There never is any "dialogue" in liberal land, it's your way or nothing.

You say you want a discussion to be had about what kind of display should be allowed using government resources/property.

Discussion? Give me a break. The only discussion you really want is how soon can we bring an end to the Christmas holiday.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 13, 2008 04:13 PM
102. Did you even read what I wrote? I explicitly said that I celebrate Christmas, that I like Christmas, and that I do not want to end it. I have done nothing to indicate that I do not want a good faith discussion.

I do think it's an interesting discussion, both constitutionally (the Constitution itself never mentions separation of church and state, and I think it's interesting to ponder what the first amendment does and does not mean) and philosophically (what the law should be aside from what the Constitution already says). But the hatred I see here coming from both sides is a far bigger issue, and I don't know what to do about that.

Why do you keep insulting me? I do not want everything to mirror my views. I believe that ongoing discourse and debate is essential to the health of a democracy. I'm sure I'm wrong about some of my positions. Even where there are positions that I, and you, feel strongly enough about that neither of us is going to budge, I believe there is a huge value in understanding why the other side holds their position. This is necessary to comprise and to find solutions that accommodate not just the few issues that we argue about, but comprises that accept the logic behind our different positions.

I'm sure you've had hostile confrontations with liberals in the past. I know I've had hostile confrontations with conservatives in the past. But please don't lay at my feet every dissatisfaction you have with everyone who shares some of my political ideology.

Posted by: Icarus on December 13, 2008 04:52 PM
103. Is "ongoing discourse and debate" part of the annual war on Christmas Icarus?

It isn't about discourse or debate. It's about the "progressive" agenda, which I think you know as well as I wants the Christmas holiday minimized as much as possible.

If you enjoy the Christmas holiday as I did even when I was a leftist then I believe you ought to question the motives of those who wish it to be eliminated.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 13, 2008 05:08 PM
104. Above all else, please stop saying that liberals want to 'ruin Christmas.'

I never meant to infer that ALL liberals want to ruin Christmas.

I absolutely DO mean to say that every single person/atheists/whatever out to ruin Christmas, remove all mention of any deity (except of course the twin idols called diversity and global warming), antithetical about the history of God in our country and hateful to religion in general and Christianity in particular is indeed a liberal.

If they can dish it out, they can take it.
If they spew nonsense I will rebut with facts. When, as they always do, they devolve to petty insult they will be met with gleeful mocking.

I'm sorry you don't like my style of discourese, but whatever the subject, I will not let anyone literally or figuratively spit in my face or the face of anything I hold dear, without consequence.

I do not/will not back up, back down or give up. I have a spine.

Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on December 13, 2008 05:23 PM
105. But please don't lay at my feet every dissatisfaction you have with everyone who shares some of my political ideology. -Posted by Icarus at December 13, 2008 04:52 PM

Have you ever warned your children "You are judged by the comapny you keep"?

ACLU
NARAL
MoveOn.org
Nambla
GLBTA
PETA
Green Peace
Earth Liberation Front
Emily's List
Amnesty International
Sierra Club
NAACP
People for the American Way
Freedom From Religion Foundation

To name a FEW.

Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on December 13, 2008 05:34 PM
106. @Ragnar -

Perhaps you aren't meaning to offend, but others are, and tell me something like this isn't meant as an insult:

"It's about destroying the family traditions that have characterized western civilization. It's about moral equivalency.

It's about a liberal culture that deliberately ignores the concepts of right and wrong, and good and evil."

Telling me that I deliberately ignore right and wrong, that I want to destroy our civilization, is insulting. Ragnar, when you write things like "In his inept, illogical, and immature way, this poor little fool..." you are contributing to the aura of insult. Even if you disagree with everything Evil Atheist says, why not do it without sinking to that level? You say you want to speak with facts rather than 'petty insult,' but at least some of the time, that's what you've been doing.

@ Bill -

I do not see this war on Christams. I have seen editorials arguing against the supposed war, but I don't understand this. I've heard Christmas music playing in Value Village since the start of November, I've seen public Christmas trees all over Seattle, I've seen advertisements for numerous Christmas cultural events including The Nutracker, Messiah, and all the other staples, I've seen Christmas charities. Pacific Science Center is running a special Christmas planetarium show. I know no one, and have seen no one, attempting to get rid of Christmas. I have seen no TV shows lamenting Christmas or protesters complaining about Christmas. The only question is the proper relationship between government and religion. And regardless of your religion or opinion, this is perfectly reasonable to discuss.

You're right, there was an atheist with a placard who wants to get rid of religion. But, like I've said before, he his no more representative of atheism than Fred Phelps is of Christianity. Aside from this incident, I've seen nothing to indicate that the 'war on Christmas' is really happening. Can you point me to any examples of it aside from the controversy over the placard?

Posted by: Icarus on December 13, 2008 05:48 PM
107. Perhaps the question to you Icarus should be; why is the so-called "separation of church and state" (considering that the United States is not a theocracy), so important to you?

Having observed the leftward direction of the past 40-years it is not inconceivable to me that once liberals succeed at removing a perfectly harmless nativity scene from public buildings their lawyers, (and that's who liberals are--lawyers), will then go after anything remotely identified with Christmas in shopping malls, deeming them public places as well. Then it will be your neighborhood drug store and grocery.

In a way I hope the liberals do push it that far. The more they expose what they really are about the shorter their period of success will be.

Icarus I am not fooled by the "separation of church and state" argument liberals tirelessly put forward. Liberals fear religion because it is a threat their socialist dream of a population utterly dependent upon government. That's what their heroes like Marx, and Lenin, and Che wanted. If that isn't what you believe Icarus then perhaps you ought to question your own leanings. There's always room for you on the conservative side.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 13, 2008 06:16 PM
108. A week or so ago Icarus the front page of the Seattle P-I featured a woman who'd made an anti-Bush Christmas tree ornament. The P-I featured this charming woman on the front page and gushed about her for paragraph after paragraph. The lady says she "doesn't like Christmas". What a surprise.

This is what I'm talking about. And you know exactly what I'm talking about.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 13, 2008 06:36 PM
109. "Let me think ... which came first... the 14th century or July 4, 1776 (which was actually first celebrated on July 8th.... and not declared a legal "holiday" until 1941)."

You're trying to think... but nothing is happening.

Let's see so if we use the rags measure of "who used it first" then Christmas itself is a fraud.

WHich came first, the 14th century of 30 BC...Hmmm.

Horace in his Satire II.7 (published circa 30 BC) uses a setting of the Saturnalia for a frank exchange between a slave and his master in which the slave criticizes his master for being himself enslaved to his passions.

Seneca the Younger wrote about Rome during Saturnalia around AD 50 (Sen. epist. 18,1-2):

"It is now the month of December, when the greatest part of the city is in a bustle. Loose reins are given to public dissipation; everywhere you may hear the sound of great preparations, as if there were some real difference between the days devoted to Saturn and those for transacting business....Were you here, I would willingly confer with you as to the plan of our conduct; whether we should eve in our usual way, or, to avoid singularity, both take a better supper and throw off the toga.

I trust that now you know Christmas is a fraud you will immediate stop celebrating it.

"In his inept, illogical, and immature way, this poor little fool is trying to convince himself/anyone that because there are more secular 'holidays' that somehow diminishes or negates the origins of the word and the histories from whence they came."

Umm no, that is what you cultist are trying to do. You enjoyed centuries of slaughter indigenous populations and sword point conversion to the cult faith. Now when someone fights back you start whining.

"... THEN uses/links a definition to disprove the assertions of his own silliness."

I used YOUR definition to prove you wrong.

"Dude, if daddy paid for your education, he should get his money back. "

That's right, keep telling yourself you are good enough without the college degree. No one need know you were too stupid to be accepted. Of course your idiotic posts here aren't helping you much.

Posted by: Evil Atheist on December 13, 2008 07:22 PM
110. "That reminds me of when our youngest, still in Catholic Elementary school, we went with his class to the Pro-life march in Olympia."

But I thought christians never did such things.

"Those supposedly 'adult' pro-borts screamed and gestured the most vile, ugly, vicious things at the CHILDREN who were marching with their signs. "

Probably not as bad an experience as the preist having sex with the little boys during alter boy "pratices".

Posted by: Evil Atheist on December 13, 2008 07:45 PM
111. And if what Ragnar and I point out is not enough Icarus I refer you to #110.

"that is what you cultist are trying to do. You enjoyed centuries of slaughter indigenous populations and sword point conversion to the cult faith,(which is what they now teach our children). Now when someone fights back you start whining."

You can read if for yourself Icarus. "Fights back". That's how the far left looks at Christmas. What more do you need to know?

We don't have to make this stuff up.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 13, 2008 07:48 PM
112. Or how about #111 where Evil Atheist links children opposing abortion to priests having sex?

And if you think this is off the map leftist thought you ought to read the Stranger, the Daily Kos, and Horsesass. It might open your eyes.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 13, 2008 07:57 PM
113. Crunchon the liar at 112. If you are going to quote me, don't change the words or you'll get the SAME treatment, like this:

"We don't have to make this stuff up every single time. Mostly we do, but not all the time." Bill Crunchon.

You get the same treatment you dish out christians.

Posted by: Evil Atheist on December 13, 2008 08:03 PM
114. ""Fights back". That's how the far left looks at Christmas. What more do you need to know?"

It has nothing to do with christmas. It has to do with your wanting government endorsment of your religion. Has anyone busted down your door at gunpoint demanding the nativity scene or your life?

Is there still christmas music playing at the mall? Do the bell ringers still say merry christmas when begging for proselytization money? Have all the card with the word christmas in them been removed from all the shops?

Yes, when you try to adorn impose religious hegemony, you'll get a fight - whether it be christmas, easter or any other religious occasion.

Posted by: Evil Atheist on December 13, 2008 08:09 PM
115. "Liberals fear religion because it is a threat their socialist dream of a population utterly dependent upon government."

Again with the over-generalizations and insulting language. I do not fear religion. I dislike religion only to the extent that it teaches its members to accept doctrine unquestioningly or not think critically - but not all churches do that and religion certainly isn't the only authoritarian structure that has that problem. You keep making these outrageous accusations about what liberals want. Of course there are liberals who want these things, but they are far extremes, and bringing them up again and again is disingenuous. Stop generalizing with things like "heroes like Marx, and Lenin, and Che." You can beat up on your image of liberals all you want, but it's divorced from reality. We, just like you, want to improve our country, and have morals and beliefs every bit as important to us as yours are to you. And the dig about liberals being lawyers - what does that have to do with anything?

As far as I'm concerned, this is about two issues: church and state and freedom of speech. Of course the placard is offensive; the question is, should it be allowed even though it is offensive. I'm not positive that it should, but there is at least a reasonable argument for it and I do think there is an important principal at the center of the debate. That absolutely is all that I'm interested in as far as this entire fiasco goes. Honestly, I'd rather have any solution and have the government focus on other, more important issues (i.e. the budget proposals that are in the very near future) than spend time on this.

Why is this important? One of the things I believe in very strongly is everyone's right to think and decide for themselves what they believe. This includes choosing any religion or none at all, and the necessity of separating church and state for that follows. Like I said, I don't think this particular incident is particularly important, but I do think the underlying principle is important, and just as you have noticed our country tilting left in the recent past, I think we've all noticed a hard right turn the last 8 years, especially in the direction of inclusion of church in government matters. Religion has unquestionably gained a much stronger foothold in the government recently, and that makes me especially wary of the confluence of government and religion.

Yes, Evil Atheist chose to include some insults in his post. Just as you have been doing sporadically through this thread. This doesn't excuse Evil Atheist, but your choice of language encourages the escalation. It's not clear to me, at all, why it really matters what the etymology of 'holiday' is (we use many words in contexts wholly separated from their etymology), but the name calling is equally present on both sides, and the kind of language you are ascribing to liberals is present from people all over the spectrum.

As far as the P-I article goes, I think you're referring to this:

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/390300_ornament03.html

Thanks for providing that; I hadn't seen it. But does this point to a wide-spread war on Christmas, or to a single person making a political point? I think the real oddity of the story is the selection of her as the artist. I think given who she was - an artist who expresses her politically beliefs through her art - she did exactly what she should have done when given the contract, but she probably shouldn't have gotten it.

The flip side to the story is that the White House has a Christmas tree, everyone in the story aside from the artist was pro-Christmas, and the other 369 artists all made appropriate art. This again suggests that Christmas is generally doing just fine.

The article was frustrating to read because the author chose not to give us the meat of what happened until halfway in, but I'd hardly call it 'gushing,' unless you were referring to a different story.

PS It's snowing right now in Seattle, and is just plain beautiful.

Posted by: Icarus on December 13, 2008 08:21 PM
116. No religious displays on government property.

No Christmas trees, no menorahs, no Islamic prayer rugs, no Kwanza symbols, no chreche scenes, no scientology ads, no Siva or Buddah statues, no golden calfs, no Zeus or Apollo or even the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

No "in God we trust" on the federal reserve fiat money. (Well, I guess since the Federal Reserve is a private corporation, we could allow that, but the government must break the Feds monopoly on the minting of money first and allow competitive currencies...)

No "under God" in the pledge of allegience. Better yet, stop coercing kids in to taking the pledge at all. Under age people can't make pledges or legal contracts anyway.

Bureaucrats can take their vacations whenever they like. Doesn't matter. They do little productive work anyway.

When none of these implicit government endorsements of religion occur, then and only then should the atheists no longer be able to put their signs on government property either.

Fair is fair.

Posted by: Bruce Guthrie on December 13, 2008 09:35 PM
117. You keep making these outrageous accusations about what liberals want. ...

... I dislike religion only to the extent that it teaches its members to accept doctrine unquestioningly or not think critically - Posted by Icarus at December 13, 2008 08:21 PM

And there it is.
What was it you were saying about insults and gross generalizations?

Value Village: PRIVATE ENTERPRISE
Christmas cultural events: FOR PROFIT
Christmas charities: PRIVATE ENTERPRISE
Mall; PRIVATE ENTERPRISE

The new US Congressional Visitor Center, which is supposed to be a historical place detailing American history, just happened to forget about the faith upon which the Founding Fathers founded the country and the faith upon which they drew when writing its definitive documents.

Exhibits portray the federal government as the fulfillment of human ambition and the answer to all of society's problems. This is a clear departure from acknowledging that Americans' rights "are endowed by their Creator" and stem from "a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence." Instead, the CVC's most prominent display proclaims faith not in God, but in government. Visitors will enter reading a large engraving that states, "We have built no temple but the Capitol. We consult no common oracle but the Constitution." This is an intentional misrepresentation of our nation's real history, and an offensive refusal to honor America's God-given blessing.

The planners just happened to forget the words "In God We Trust" which became the "replacement motto" for 'E Pluribus Unum' after the War of 1812 and replaced E Pluribus Unum when passed by joint resolution of the the 84th Congress and then signed into law in 1956. The planners also missed the Pledge of Allegiance.

Historically, the US has been a Christian nation. It is disingenuous, false, and misrepresentative to ignore the Christian aspect of our nation's religious heritage. Period.

These PURPOSEFUL omissions are yet another attempt to rewrite hisory. The nation was founded by people seeking religious freedom. Our laws and social standards are based on Judeo-Christian values.

The sole purpose of government, as stated in the Declaration of Independence, is to secure our unalienable rights given us by our Creator:

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

The Mayflower Compact (authored by William Bradford) 1620

"Having undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith, and honor of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God, and one of another, covenant and combine our selves together..."

John Adams and John Hancock:

"We Recognize No Sovereign but God, and no King but Jesus!" [April 18, 1775]

John Adams:

"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." --October 11, 1798

Samuel Adams:

"He who made all men hath made the truths necessary to human happiness obvious to all... Our forefathers opened the Bible to all." [ "American Independence," August 1, 1776. Speech delivered at the State House in Philadelphia]

"Let divines and philosophers, statesmen and patriots, unite their endeavors to renovate the age by impressing the minds of men with the importance of educating their little boys and girls, inculcating in the minds of youth the fear and love of the Deity... and leading them in the study and practice of the exalted virtues of the Christian system." [October 4, 1790]
"A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader."

John Quincy Adams:

"Why is it that, next to the birthday of the Savior of the world, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day [the Fourth of July]?" "Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? That it forms a leading event in the progress of the Gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer's mission upon earth? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity"? --1837, at the age of 69, when he delivered a Fourth of July speech at Newburyport, Massachusetts.

In Benjamin Franklin's 1749 plan of education for public schools in Pennsylvania, he insisted that schools teach

"the excellency of the Christian religion above all others, ancient or modern."

Thomas Paine:

"It has been the error of the schools to teach astronomy, and all the other sciences, and subjects of natural philosophy, as accomplishments only; whereas they should be taught theologically, or with reference to the Being who is the author of them: for all the principles of science are of divine origin. Man cannot make, or invent, or contrive principles: he can only discover them; and he ought to look through the discovery to the Author."

"The evil that has resulted from the error of the schools, in teaching natural philosophy as an accomplishment only, has been that of generating in the pupils a species of atheism. Instead of looking through the works of creation to the Creator himself, they stop short, and employ the knowledge they acquire to create doubts of his existence. They labour with studied ingenuity to ascribe every thing they behold to innate properties of matter, and jump over all the rest by saying, that matter is eternal." "The Existence of God--1810"

Where the heck is Thomas Paine when we need him??!

Justice Joseph Story:

"I verily believe Christianity necessary to the support of civil society. One of the beautiful boasts of our municipal jurisprudence is that Christianity is a part of the Common Law. . . There never has been a period in which the Common Law did not recognize Christianity as lying its foundations." -[Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States p. 593]

"At the time of the adoption of the constitution, and of the amendment to it, now under consideration [i.e., the First Amendment], the general, if not the universal sentiment in America was, that Christianity ought to receive encouragement from the state, so far as was not incompatible with the private rights of conscience, and the freedom of religious worship." [Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States p. 593]

George Washington:

"What students would learn in American schools above all is the religion of Jesus Christ." [speech to the Delaware Indian Chiefs May 12, 1779]

The three branches of the U.S. Government: Judicial, Legislative, Executive
• At the Constitutional Convention of 1787, James Madison proposed the plan to divide the central government into three branches. He discovered this model of government from the Perfect Governor, as he read Isaiah 33:22;

"For the LORD is our judge,
the LORD is our lawgiver,
the LORD is our king;
He will save us."

Whittaker Chambers:

"Man without God is a beast, and never more beastly than when he is most intelligent about his beastliness."

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia:

"God assumed from the beginning that the wise of the world would view Christians as fools...and He has not been disappointed. ... If I have brought any message today, it is this: Have the courage to have your wisdom regarded as stupidity. Be fools for Christ. And have the courage to suffer the contempt of the sophisticated world."

AND, one of my favorite quotes:

"in former days the free-thinker was a man who had been brought up in ideas of religion, law, and morality, and only through conflict and struggle came to free-thought; but now there has sprung up a new type of born free-thinkers who grow up without even having heard of principles of morality or of religion, of the existence of authorities, who grow up directly in ideas of negation in everything, that is to say, savages."

That was written in 1877 (Tolstoy, Anna Karenina). ... It could just as well have been written today.

It's certainly applies to what is being said today... and to those saying it.

Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on December 13, 2008 10:41 PM
118. Ragnar,

You quoted me, but didn't respond to the quotation, and I'm not sure you got my meaning, whether I didn't explain sufficiently or you missed the point. My point is that I don't have a general ideological complaint with the practice of religion (I don't practice religion, but believe in the right of others to engage in that practice), but have a problem with some of the practice of some churches. I was explicitly NOT overgeneralizing. I DO have something against churches that ask their members to accept doctrine blindly and not think critically about it. This is a potential problem for many organizations, not just religion. I disagree with any organization telling its members to accept its tenets without thought. Many or most churches do not engage in this behavior; a few do. I don't think any of this is overgeneralizing. I argue against those churches teaching uncritical thought in the same way I argue against schools teaching uncritical thought or any other organization doing so.

I like the Tolstoy quote, too. But I would point out that people can be brought up religiously and ignorant of the principles underlying their morality; they can be taught the moral principles to follow without the understanding of why those principles are in place. Again, I'm not suggesting that most churches operate this way, or that most religious people raise their children that way, as I hope you aren't suggesting about atheists. I'm suggesting that the same intellectual laziness is equally possible for both groups.

What was your point that Value Villages and malls are private? I never suggested they were operated by the government.

One of the more interesting points of freedom of and from religion (in my perspective) is that the Constitution does not mention separation of Church and State. Instead, this is treated in the 1st amendment, and it's by no means trivial exactly what is and isn't prohibited by the Establishment Clause. I certainly agree that Christianity has a major role in the history of our country and in the story of its founding.

But that doesn't make the separation of church and state any less real. If Christians decided to make those rules of separation, does it mean those rules don't count? No, it means that they felt separation is important despite their religion.

Our laws are based on Enlightenment philosophy as well as Judeo-Christian values. While I don't want to go case by case or make a tally, the Founding Fathers were by no means wholly Christian.

For instance, you take Thomas Paine as an exemplar. Paine was a Deist, not a Christian. His stated views changed throughout his life, and the quote of his you give is by far his most religiously positive. Another picture emerges if you contrast it with other writings of his, such as:

"I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church.
All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit."

Paine was not Christian (and your quote of his is not advocating Christianity), and that is also the case for others of the founders, including a number of the early Presidents. A number of those you quoted expressed ambivalence elsewhere (bearing in mind that it would be politically very, very difficult for them to express anything stronger than ambivalence). Also bear in mind that the word God can refer to a Deist conception rather than a Christian one, and they sometimes used the word and concept in that context.

In any case, they chose to establish limitations on the government regarding religion. And I would ask that those limitations continue to be recognized. This in no way undermines the importance of religion in the history of our country, it merely underscores the importance of separating the religion from the government, including for the purpose of free practice of religion.

Additionally, I'm not entirely sure about everything you wanted to emphasize with the quotes. Is it the historical significance of Christianity in the founding our our country, or is there more you're suggesting? Can you clarify how you think that should affect the choices we make today about appropriate government involvement in religion?

It's late, and I don't have the time to do a good job editing, so I apologize if this wasn't organized well. So to summarize briefly:

-Religion, qua religion, and qua social structure, has its place.
-Religion can be dogmatic, and I don't like that dogmatism.
-Christianity was important in the founding and history of our country, but is not the whole story and is not the whole core of our laws and values.
-Our government may privilege the concept of God, but there is a point at which we must separate government from the establishment of a national religion and stop the government from privileging one religion or sect of a religion.

Posted by: Icarus on December 14, 2008 12:28 AM
119. Again the "separation of church and state". Over and over Icarus it permeates the liberal argument.

When you say at #116, "I think we've all noticed a hard right turn the last 8 years, especially in the direction of inclusion of church in government matters." you show your hand rather glaringly.

What "hard right turn" exactly are you referring to? Where is this alarming "inclusion of church in government matters"?

Wow. And you think I'm off the mark bringing up Marx?

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 14, 2008 08:28 AM
120. "Crunchon the liar at 112. If you are going to quote me, don't change the words or you'll get the SAME treatment, like this:"

Except that I quoted you exactly, other than putting my editorial comments in parenthesis. Heck I copied and pasted the danged thing to make sure I did quote you exactly.

You leftists sure get hot under the collar.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 14, 2008 09:25 AM
121. Yes, separation of church and state is everywhere in my argument. That's because it seems to me like the most interesting and relevant issue related to religious displays on public property is the question of separation of church and state. It is completely germane to the topic, and is even the core of it. When I'm discussing things unrelated to religion and government, I don't bring it up. What else would you consider the question to be about?

I could provide examples of ways our policies have become more right in general, but I'll stick to the realm of religion since that's what we're discussing.

For me, by far the most problematic introduction of religion in government is the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. This is a federal office that funds religious organizations. This includes funding many organizations that have discriminatory hiring policies and organizations that expound their religion as part of the services they provide. Especially interesting is that faith-based organizations funded by FBCI don't have to avoid discriminatory practices, while non-religious groups that receive the same funding do.

The influence of the religious right in the Republican Party, and its ascendancy relative to fiscal and non-religious social conservatives is clear. We can find examples of the centrality of religion in GOP platforms in many places. Let's look at the platforms for the Texas GOP. The party's platform included doing away with "the concept of the separation of Church and State and dispel the myth of the separation of Church and State." Their current platform similarly states "Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God," and based on this, the party advocates making gay sex illegal (in private, in the homes of the participants). This party wants to legislate personal morality based on religious doctrine. (as an aside, there are some things in the Texas GOP platform that actually made me very happy - in particular its call to revisit the Patriot Act to check for unnecessary abridgment of rights)

A third realm I would point to is the role and place of religion in public education. Without suggesting that studying religion can't take place in publicly funded schools, I have seen trends towards inclusion of religious education and more fervent arguments for more religious education. This has affected science education, sexual education, and in a few (but not consistently) cases, more general education.

I think it's fair to say that religion has taken a more central role in government in recent years, it's routine for explicitly religious laws to be proposed, it's routine for politicians to discuss their private religion and how they will enact it, and in general, religion is more central in the political discourse.

But regardless of how central religion is, it wouldn't change the nature of my arguments for the necessity of separation of church and state. Those arguments are based on the principle behind them rather than pragmatism. How concerned I am about advocating my beliefs is affected, but not the nature of my arguments or what I advocate.

Would you, as the Texas GOP does, argue for the removal of separation of church and state? That is, is the sticking issue where the line should be drawn, or whether the line should be there at all?

Posted by: Icarus on December 14, 2008 09:48 AM
122. You've put it well Icarus. I couldn't outline the liberal view of "seperation of church and state" any better than you just have.

When you say the Texas GOP "... wants to legislate personal morality based on religious doctrine." You've said more than a mouthful. I'm left to wonder just what "personal morality" means to the socialist left, whether it has a religious doctrinal element or not.

It gets to the core of what the left wants. Homosexual marriage, and the murder of unborn innocent children. I'll leave out the ultimate goal of uniform mediocrity and government dependence for the moment. Rather sad, isn't it?

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 14, 2008 10:07 AM
123. what? nobody has yet fashioned an image of the coming Carbon God? He/She/It Who Will Be Given Offerings from our paychecks? now THAT one scares me!!

Posted by: jimmie-howya-doin on December 14, 2008 10:42 AM
124. Of course we have legislation that deals with morality. But to the extent that a group wants to legislate morality, they need to provide a justification for it other than 'God says it is wrong.' That's the point of the separation. There's nothing wrong with them advocating their belief of what is right and wrong, but there is a problem with the simple "my religion says people shouldn't do this, therefore I want to prevent everyone from doing it."

My biggest problem with the Texan platform is the "fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God" part. This suggests that we cannot discuss morality and cannot make better moral decisions. In the past, many immoral institutions, including discrimination, slavery, murder, removal of rights, and more have been condoned by both the church and the state. We've moved past lots of that, but to continue moving forward, we have to be willing to consider moral issues and improve our understanding of what is right and wrong. The blind 'God says so' mentality has produced huge moral problems and prevents us from considering our actions as we should. Can religion and the Bible be sources of moral guidance? Of course. But they are a guide, and must be questioned critically. And when we make policy because of blind acceptance of a biblical passage, that's a problem.

That is the core of separation of church and state. It doesn't mean religious people shouldn't hold office. It doesn't mean politicians can't think of religion when they think of policy. But when government advocates a religion, privileges religious thought above secular thought, or religious thinking is blindly transformed into policy, the line needs to be drawn.

And frankly, if you're going to tell me that I can't have morals, that I can't have things I believe in, or that I can't dedicate my life to a higher purpose because I'm not Christian, then I'm not sure there's any point continuing to discuss anything. The suggestion that only religion can be a source of morality is not even wrong.

"I'll leave out the ultimate goal of uniform mediocrity and government dependence for the moment." I'm making every effort to give you legitimate answers and explain why I give them and you keep insulting my beliefs, moral integrity, and desires. In fact, I would argue that mediocrity, laziness, and lack of interest in higher callings outside the self are among the biggest problems with our culture. Suggesting that only the religious have a monopoly on values is incorrect.

Posted by: Icarus on December 14, 2008 10:42 AM
125. Icarus, you just said this: "but to continue moving forward, we have to be willing to consider moral issues and improve our understanding of what is right and wrong."

How I love the way leftists talk, "we have to be willing..." Don't they sound reasonable? What they are actually saying is think the way we do or else.

"Understanding of what is right and wrong"? Where does it end Icarus? Is having 3 wives right or wrong? Is having the state sanction marriage to your favorite animal right or wrong? Is having the state approve your killing of an unborn human being right or wrong?

Oh no, we "must improve our understanding"

If there aren't moral absolutes we aren't much different than baboons.

Take a drive through any big city governed by liberal moral realtivists and look at the graffiti everywhere. Need I say more?

I'll take Christmas decorations any day.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 14, 2008 11:19 AM
126. That should have been "relativists". My apologies.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 14, 2008 12:06 PM
127. I did not say "think the way we do or else," nor did I imply it or mean it. I think I've gone down about 5 different tangents now responding to your questions, and you haven't answered mine. Should never change our moral understanding of the world? Should we continue to accept slavery? Should we accept kings who are divinely granted their powers? Must we accept that the earth is the center of the universe because the church tells us it is so? We have to consider our moral and ethical precepts to advance, as has been done in both the secular and religious realms.

I never said anything about moral relativism; that is again you putting words in my mouth. I said that religion is not the only source of morality. Giving thought to morality and reconsidering our moral precepts does not mean that we can't arrive at the conclusion that there are absolutes we should embrace; it only requires that we consider those precepts and accept them as ours because we understand why we should accept them, rather than accepting them because they are the words of an unimpeachable authority.

None of which is the original topic, and my original question stands: why shouldn't there be separation of church and state and why? If there should be, where do we draw the line?

Posted by: Icarus on December 14, 2008 12:19 PM
128. Icarus,

Your problem is you are trying to be reasonable with unreasonable people. Thinking is too much of a tax on their small minds. They have their talking points and it is much easier for them to just spew them out than discuss.

They don't get to be religious zealots by thinking about the location of the line between church and state. Bill O'Reilly has told them they should be damn mad and they have decided to be damn mad.

Posted by: Evil Atheist on December 14, 2008 12:34 PM
129. "None of which is the original topic, and my original question stands: why shouldn't there be separation of church and state and why?"

There is separation of church and state. That isn't what you really want though is it Icarus?

You want the elimination of religion, in particular Christianity. Specifically because you regard it as a threat to a secular socialist world.

Comments you make such as "Must we accept that the earth is the center of the universe because the church tells us it is so?" are rather revealing, eh what?


Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 14, 2008 12:43 PM
130. Re#129...When all else fails leftists do it over and over, and over. They resort to ad hominem attacks.

Considering that I've never attended church in my life other than for weddings and funerals being a religious zealot is a new experience for me.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 14, 2008 12:49 PM
131. What was your point that Value Villages and malls are private? I never suggested they were operated by the government.

YOU brought them up as proof there is no war on Christmas. Private enterprise, which depends heavily upon sales this time of year has a vested interest in catering to those spending money BECAUSE it is this time of year. That the would not work against their own self interest is not proof there is no war on Christmas.

Religion can be dogmatic, and I don't like that dogmatism.

Are you an environmentalist?
How's that dogma working for you?

Regarding "separation of church and state" and Bill's reference to your comment about the last 8 years... So when the toddler president steps up to the podium on Jan 20, what will Michelle be holding? Upon whose word will he be taking the oath of office?

I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Upon whose word is he swearing? His own?
When you 'swear to tell the truth', upon who or what are you swearing? YOUR word? Why bother with an oath then?

Especially interesting is that faith-based organizations funded by FBCI don't have to avoid discriminatory practices, while non-religious groups that receive the same funding do.

And the SAME has been true in reverse with private institutions. The biggest example is the Catholic Church and adoption. The Catholic Church does not 'do' homosexual adoption. it is against their belief system. New laws require that they do... and so the biggest most successful adoption placement service in the COUNTRY now won't. Expect it next here in WA with your forced suicide rules.

I think it's fair to say that religion has taken a more central role in government in recent years

I think it's fair to say you're wrong, that religion itself has taken a more public role in the the PUBLIC EYE simply because we are forced to defend ourselves constantly against hatefullness and bigotry. I can not even count the number of times I have read a headline or article that pointed out the only POLITICALLY CORRECT riducule is against persons of faith. Tolerance abounds for every nutburger with a cause, INCLUDING the terrorist that want you dead, but it's the height of 'hip and cool' to attack Christianity and Judiaism. The two most powerful molders of opinion in the nation, the media and Hollywood, are at the head of the line in the war on Christianity, frequently ridiculing and disparaging Christians in ways they would never dream of employing against any other group of Americans.

It's not just the scrubbing away of Christian symbols and expression from the public square, including public property, public schools, universities, efforts to muzzle Christian officials, the anti-Christian litmus test applicable to presidential appointees and anti-Christian discrimination in zoning regulations. No, it's not just about "separation of church and state," because the bias has now infected the private sector as well -- such as dress codes prohibiting the wearing of Christian jewelry, and the anti-Christian bias among the liberal media, Hollywood, and the cultural elite -- including their profane, anti-Christian art.

* a TV character "depicting a priest was referred to by a sacrilegious name and shown groping women";

* a play that "depicts Jesus as gay and engaging in sodomy with his apostles.";

* "CBS withdrew an offer of employment given to outspokenly Christian football star Reggie White of the Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers for his criticism of the practice of homosexual sex. In an interview with the American Family Association, White revealed that the president of CBS expressed concern about a backlash from the gay community but was not concerned about the prospects of similar actions from the Christian community.";

* One of the more outrageous examples of anti-Christian ranting was exhibited on the liberal taxpayer funded National Public Radio (NPR). On January 22, 2002, NPR reporter David Kestenbaum "seemed to imply," that the Traditional Values Coalition (TVC), a pro-family ministry was involved in the terrorist anthrax attacks on the nation's capital.

* How aout textbooks?
Sociology by Beth R. Hess, E. W. Markson, and P. J. Stein, 4th edition, MacMillan, page 400, where students read that conservative Christians in America fear the teaching of democracy, civil liberties, world peace, social equity, and compassionate concern for other humans. In contrast, secular humanists are said to adhere to those positive virtues. This passage is bigoted and manipulative to the utmost. The offending text is given special emphasis, being highlighted with a color background and given a title in bold, "Secular Humanism as a Way of Life. " It is not offered as an editorial or as one person's opinion, but is presented as if it were factual and significant.

Secular humanism "reflects the Enlightenment's emphasis on rationality, science, and personal effort rather than blind faith in supernatural powers.

"Among the tenets of humanist philosophy: 1. A faith in human intelligence and abilities. 2. A commitment to democracy and civil liberties. 3. A belief in the importance of, if not the divine origin, of the Ten Commandments and of the ideals of social equity, the community of humankind, and world peace. 4. Opposition to all theories of predestination, divine determination, and fatalism. 5. Compassionate concern for all human beings."
"These are the beliefs that conservative Christians in the United States fear being taught to their children." (Sociology, p. 400)
Do we really want to spend tax dollars to teach our children that conservative Christians fear the doctrines of democracy, civil liberty, peace, and compassion? Can anybody doubt that the above text is dishonest and manipulative?

William Haviland, Anthropology, 6th ed., Holt-Rhinehard-Winston, 1991.
Religion is a crucial component in the study of anthropology. It is one of the great common denominators in the human experience, with an influence that is pervasive throughout the planet and throughout history. In spite of the overarching significance of religion in the study of human culture, the topic seems to be ignored until near the end of the textbook, where it is introduced in chapter 22, "Religion and Magic." After 21 chapters that largely ignore the dominance of religion in shaping human culture and society, religion is now introduced with an unmistakable negative bias. Through clearly incorrect and grossly skewed definitions on page 563, it is described in the same terms as primitive magic.
William Haviland, Anthropology, 6th ed., Holt-Rhinehard-Winston, 1991. P. 563:

Religion is defined: when people are unable to solve their problems through knowledge and science, they "turn to the manipulation of supernatural beings and powers."

"Religion consist of various rituals ... through which people try to manipulate supernatural beings and powers to their advantage."

* Meriden Public Library in Meriden, Conn., which banned five paintings of Jesus Christ, not because they were blasphemous or disrespectful, and not even because of ludicrously exaggerated concerns over church/state interaction. The images were disallowed under a policy that prohibits "inappropriate" and "offensive" fare. That's right: Jesus is offensive. Library officials were concerned that children might be disturbed by these images. What kind of mindset is it that sees offensiveness in portraits of the One who embodies pure love, and wholly ignores the egregious intolerance of those who want to ban them?

* Northwest College in Kirkland, Wash., denying student Joshua Davey a $3,000 scholarship because he wanted to use it for the study of divinity. U.S. Solicitor General Ted Olson pointed out that the denial of the scholarship shows a government bias against religion (the Christian religion).

* Michael Nash, whose academic scholarship was originally denied by Cumberland College in Williamsburg, Ky., when he declared that he would be majoring in philosophy and religion.

* Seventh-grade history students at Royal Oak Intermediate School in Covina, Calif., didn't just learn about Islam. They practiced the religion, by fasting to celebrate the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The school clearly endorsed the religion: The teacher enticed students to participate by offering extra credit.

for three weeks, "impressionable 12-year-old students" were, among other things, placed into Islamic city groups; took Islamic names; wore identification tags that displayed their new Islamic name and the star and crescent moon; handed materials that instructed them to 'Remember Allah always so that you may prosper'; completed the Islamic Five Pillars of Faith, including fasting; and memorized and recited the 'Bismillah' or 'In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate,' which students also wrote on banners hung on the classroom walls. Students also played "jihad games" during the course, which was part of the school's world history and geography program.


* The ACLU eternally vigilant in removing religious language and symbols from government places and enforcing a strict (overly strict, in my opinion) version of separation of church and state... excpet when it comes to Muslims, footbaths and prayer rugs.

* ABC's Good Morning American ran a segment promoting atheism in which they mixed images of the World Trade Center in flames with a presumably Christian man holding up a sign reading "One Nation Under God." ABC's Liz Marlantes drove their demented point home:

Some are reacting to religious extremism, like the Islamic fundamentalism behind the terrorist attacks of 9-11, but also the rise of the Christian right in the U.S.

* Schools, coaches, students across the country are being sued/punished for "bowing" their head or a "moment of silence".

* Condemnation of a rich heritage of literature.

* the oh so celebrated by enlightened lefties, "Christ in Piss" and Virgin Mary embellished with a clump of elephant dung

*And how about the most recent, that had it been in reverse would have surely led to HATE CRIME arrests: the homosexual rioting, threats and vandalism against the Mormons and Catholics?

It's not a "War on Christmas". Christmas is but a mere skirmish in a Battle AGAINST Faith in the WAR ON CHRISTIANS. They want to eradicate all faith as surely as Hilter wanted to eradicate the Jews.

Their actions, their words prove it.


Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on December 14, 2008 12:50 PM
132. "It's not a "War on Christmas". Christmas is but a mere skirmish in a Battle AGAINST Faith in the WAR ON CHRISTIANS. They want to eradicate all faith as surely as Hilter wanted to eradicate the Jews."

Talk about your paranoid delusions. You really should get back on those meds Rags. And why do you offer up a christian such as Hitler as evidence of a "war" on christians? But then I guess there is no logic to be found from those such as yourself that are afflicted with paranoud delusions.

Posted by: Evil Atheist on December 14, 2008 01:04 PM
133. @Bill:

Unless you respond to the substance of what I've said, this will be my last post on the topic; each time you reply, you are seizing on some phrase and using it as a way to make jibes rather than addressing the issues.

I have said repeatedly that I do not feel the need to eliminate religion. I want people to have the choice of whether or not to follow religion. Even though I believe there is no God, I don't think it would be a good thing if all churches instantly disappeared. Aside from religion, churches provide important functions as community structures, as encouragement for charity, and as a way for people to come together to discuss important moral and philosophical issues. What I would like to see is the development of secular institutions that can fill these roles, but that does not require or imply eliminating religion.

"Comments you make such as "Must we accept that the earth is the center of the universe because the church tells us it is so?" are rather revealing, eh what?"

Revealing about what? The reason I wrote that was to point out that churches and the various sects of Christianity can and do change their stances on a variety of issues. My point was that the church should be lauded for changing its views to accommodate later findings, just as we should laud churches for when they finally took stances against slavery, discrimination, and the other times they have revised their moral positions. If it sounded like I was implying that Christianity, or Catholicism, still holds that view, that wasn't what I meant. If you go back to my post, I think you'll see that I mentioned that as an example of religions changing their views. Again returning to the point that having "fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God" prevents this kind of progress.

"There is separation of church and state. That isn't what you really want though is it Icarus?"

That is what I want. I want to defend the separation of church and state. The GOP platform I cited wants to get rid of it. The government should no more take a position advocating atheism than it should take a position advocating any one religion. I'm really tired of you continually implying and assuming all kinds of things I haven't said.

Posted by: Icarus on December 14, 2008 01:06 PM
134. RE: 133
Argumentum ad hominem.

It has absolutely nothing to do with the validity of the research or my opinion.

Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on December 14, 2008 01:20 PM
135. I have not said nor would i imply that there should not continue to be separation of church and state Icarus.

You had to search far and wide to find some GOP platform in Texas to support your apparent belief that conservatives wish to establish a Christian theocracy.

This year atheists put up a placard in Olympia not in the spirit of tolerance, but in order to attack those of religious faith.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 14, 2008 01:20 PM
136. I want to defend the separation of church and state.

Neither the state, the country, the city, the town nor the county have endorsed or forced you to participate in any religion under penalty. I don't want you forced to become a Catholic; I don't want ME forced to be any religion other than the one of my heritage and choosing.

That does not mean the state, the country, the city, the town or the county are divorced from any mention of religion or from the FACT that it played a huge role in our historical roots and is (and should be) recognized in and around our public buildings.

There is a distinct difference between "recognizing" and "endorsing". It is especially appropriate to "recognize" and event that more than 80% of Americans celebrate.

Government OF the people, BY the people, FOR the people.

Does that ring a bell?

If the majority "OF the people" can elect a nitwit like Gregoire, she and her liberal ilk can honor and respect the majority of Americans.

Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on December 14, 2008 01:44 PM
137. @ Ragnar -

Yes, I brought up examples of Christmas in public life, to point out that it is just as present as it has been. If there is a war on Christmas, wouldn't we be seeing less of it?

I'm not going to respond point by point because I'm not familiar with the details in all those cases, and there are too many. In general though, you are drawing from sources that are in some cases more than 15 years old and from sources outside the United States. If you look over multiple countries and such a huge time frame, it's a given that you can find examples of fighting against any and all groups or organizations.

I could compile just as broad a list, probably much longer, actually, of examples of Christian enmity toward atheism, starting with George Bush's infamous "No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots." There are many texts, speakers, news stories, teachers promoting their views, instances of censorship, etc. lauding Christianity and its values and denigrating atheism. I suspect you notice the ones attacking Christianity, just as I notice the ones attacking atheism. It might also be worth noting that our country is more than 3/4 Christian, and atheists comprise just 4%.

In elementary schools, I have seen Christian materials in classrooms including signs, religious literature, small posters, small crosses on walls, and the like. Most rooms don't have this and the teachers who do generally don't try to push it on their students. But I've never seen, ever, a single classroom that had any evident atheist or anti-religion paraphernalia. Which is fine by me - that's the way it should be. But I just don't see this war on Christianity.

If anything, during the recent election cycle, politicians were going to absurd lengths to prove how religious they are and how important religious values are to them. The phrase 'God Bless America' ended nearly every speech I heard. There were multiple instances of politicians doing everything they could to be more Christian than each other, which is exactly the opposite of what would take place if we actually had a war on Christianity.

@ Bill -

I did not search far and wide for a GOP platform to pick apart - I picked the one for a large state that has major influence and the one our current President is from.

"I have not said nor would i imply that there should not continue to be separation of church and state Icarus. "

And I never said you asked to remove the separation. I was curious what your position was; thank you for providing it.

I never defended the placard. It's not clear to me that the government should allow it to be displayed with other religious displays, as I've said.

You said: "When all else fails leftists do it over and over, and over. They resort to ad hominem attacks. "

You're doing just the same thing.

The reason I jumped into this thread was because of all the commentary attacking atheists, not because of the placard, but because of who we are and what we stand for. In my first post I listed some of the things that were hurled earlier in this thread:

The country would be better if all the liberals died.
This idea, repeated again and again, that atheists don't stand for anything, which is based on nothing but mischaracterizations and misperceptions.
That the liberal culture "deliberately ignores the concepts of right and wrong."
"It never ceases to amaze me that any adult with an IQ over five would ever think that socialists/progressives/communists would honor a Christian based holiday without trying to demenize it thru pagan political correctness."

All I was ever asking is that you address the issues rather than just insulting me and others of the same persuasion.

Posted by: Icarus on December 14, 2008 01:45 PM
138. RE: Rags @ 132,

What about the christians WAR ON CHILDREN?


As distinct from abuse by some parish priests, under diocesan control, there have also been sexual abuse cases concerning those in Catholic orders, which often care for the sick or teach school.[43][44][45] In the United States, Salesian High in Richmond, California lost a sexual abuse case,[46] whilst in Australia there are allegations that the Salesians moved a priest convicted of abuse in Melbourne to Samoa in order to avoid further police investigation and charges.[47][48]

* The Christian Brothers in Canada more than 300 former pupils were physically and sexually abused at the Mount Cashel orphanage in Newfoundland. When allegations of physical and sexual abuse started to surface in the late 1980s, the government, police and church conspired in an unsuccessful cover-up. In Ontario in January 1993 the Christian Brothers reached a financial settlement totaling $23 million with 700 former students who alleged abuse.[49] In Ireland in March 1998, the Congregation of the Christian Brothers published full-page advertisements in newspapers apologizing to former pupils who had been ill-treated whilst in their care. The unprecedented advertising campaign expressed "deep regret" on behalf of the Christian Brothers and listed telephone lines which former pupils could ring if they needed help.[50] In Australia the Christian Brothers protected Brothers accused of sex offenses.[51][52]

* In July 2007 in the United States a lawsuit was filed against the Brothers of the Sacred Heart which alleged that they moved around a Brother who was accused of sexual misconduct with an adolescent.[53][54]

* A eight-year (1999-2007) enquiry and report by Dr Elizabeth Healy and Dr Kevin McCoy into the Brothers of Charity Order's "Holy Family School" in Galway, Ireland, and two other locations, was made public in December 2007. Eleven brothers and seven other staff members were alleged to have abused 21 intellectually-disabled children in residential care in the period 1965-1998. By 2007, two members of staff were convicted of abuse, eight had died and the rest had retired. It emerged that the Order had attempted to transfer at least one accused brother to another place.

Dr Jimmy Devins, a junior government minister, regretted that "some of the most vulnerable people in society were let down in the past". Brother Noel Corcoran, head of the Order's services in Ireland, apologized sincerely. However the report was criticized by Dr Margaret Kennedy for not naming the sex offenders who were convicted or dead, and for interviewing just 21 out of 135 complainants.[55]

* On 19 December 2007 a Patrick McDonagh of the Salvatorian Order admitted eight counts of sexual and indecent assault on four girls (aged 6 to 10) in the period 1965-1990 in Ireland. He was sentenced to four years in prison, with the last 30 months suspended. He gave the police the names of three girls, but also admitted to assaulting six other victims whom he has refused to identify. The judge described this as "remorse" and suspended most of the sentence for his guilty plea. Aged 78 in 2007, he had joined the Salvatorians in 1955 and retired in 2004.[56]

* In Sligo County Sligo, St. John's School had five teachers who have faced abused charges, of which three were Marist Brothers. In January 2008 "Brother Gregory" (real name Martin Meaney) admitted to abusing a boy 20 or 30 times in a four-month period in 1972, apologized unreservedly and was sentenced on five sample charges to two years imprisonment. He described the boy as "a weak little lad", and told police he had "picked on children who were not getting love at home". Meaney had previously served 12 years of an original 18 year jail sentence imposed in November 1992 where he admitted eight sample charges of buggery, rape and indecent assault on other boys, out of 109 charges. These charges arose when he was teaching at Castlerea, County Roscommon.[57]

* In the 1990s, abuse by a Eugene Kennan (baptismal name John Joseph), a priest of the Passionist Order, originally from Liverpool, came to light. An extremely powerful man who had held high positions in the order, he had given retreats and counselled vulnerable girls over many decades, including those in care and approved schools in the 1960s. A man of great charisma, he was able to abuse girls in whom he inspired devotion. It was, however, the sexual abuse of a former novice nun that first brought the abuse to light, after which many women came forward with their own testimonies of his sexual abuse. One story he would tell the girls was that he had trained as a gynaecologist, which led to intimate physical examinations. In the late 1990s Kennan was relieved of his official duties and was investigated by the police, however his age and failing health saved him from prison. He died in 2002. The scandal was largely covered up by the superior of the Passionist Order, Nicholas Postlethwaite, who managed to keep it out of the English newspapers, though it was mentioned in the Irish press. In 2003 another Passionist priest in Chicago, John Ormechea, faced his sixth accusation for allegedly abusing young boys. As in other cases, it was alleged that the local diocese knew of similar allegations, but did nothing.[58]

* The Norbertine Order (or White Canons) neglected to inform the police about the abuse by Brendan Smyth from the 1950s. He was eventually charged in 1994.

* Jeremiah McGrath of the Kiltegan Fathers was convicted in Liverpool in May 2007 for facilitating abuse by Billy Adams. McGrath had given Adams £20,000 in 2005 and Adams had used the money to impress a 12-year-old girl who he then raped over a six-month period. McGrath denied knowing about the abuse but admitted having a brief sexual relationship with Adams. His appeal in January 2008 was dismissed.[59]
* William Manahan, the Father Prior of a Buckfast Abbey Preparatory School was convicted of molesting boys in his school during the 1970s. [14]


Christians are waging a WAR ON CHILDREN! Their isn't a child's bum they don't want vilated and (as rags says in @134 above):

"Their actions prove it"

Posted by: Evil Atheist on December 14, 2008 01:52 PM
139. @Ragnar post 137 -

You seem to be responding to something other than what I wrote. I never said there was anything wrong with the government recognizing religions and Christianity in particular. There should be limitations on how far that recognition can go and how much it can emphasize one religion, but that's the whole point of separation of church and state. Your quote of me, "I want to defend the separation of church and state," was in specific response to Bill's many accusations of what I actually want.

Posted by: Icarus on December 14, 2008 01:53 PM
140. If there isn't a "war on Christmas" Icarus what on earth are you so worked up about?

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 14, 2008 02:21 PM
141. As a free speech issue I don't get it other than the Atheists believe that they have the right to do whatever they want wherever they want whenever they please without context or proportionality. And the Supremes have settled that quite some time ago. You can't.

We're discussing a single placard in a single location, and you somehow see some kind of a huge FedAtheist overnight message delivery service running about everywhere. Could you please put your delusions of paranoia aside for a moment, and quote from the relevant Supreme Court ruling?

As a "Freedom from religion" issue it is completely moot because the religion clause is, unlike Tensor the Studious believes, Freedom of religion meaning you can practice whatever religion you want without state intervention or endorsement. Being that Atheism is not a religion (according to them) they don't apply here and they should not be allowed to participate. Furhtermore, the multiple exhibits that are there mean that no particular endorsement has been given by the state.

You're right in the last sentence; the rest is just torturing innocent words, in a failed attempt to deny rights to citizens who don't share your religious beliefs. Interesting that you assert all of this without actually quoting either our Constitution, or our Supreme Court's interpretation of it. As usual, we in the ACLU explain it concisely on our web site, http://www.aclu.org/christmas/xmas_law.html:

The First Amendment guarantees individuals, families, businesses, and religious communities the right to display Christmas symbols. This right is uncontested, and is exercised annually by private individuals and entities across the country. The difficulty comes when the government decides that it wants to get involved in promoting some religious symbols or prohibiting others.

In addressing this dilemma, the U.S. Supreme Court has made very clear that, while the government "may acknowledge Christmas as a cultural phenomenon," the Constitution mandates that the government "may not observe [Christmas] as a Christian holy day by suggesting that people praise God for the birth of Jesus."

Thus, in County of Allegheny v. ACLU, the Supreme Court held that a stand-alone crèche displayed inside the Allegheny County Courthouse violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution because it "celebrate[d] Christmas in a way that ha[d]the effect of endorsing a patently Christian message: Glory to God for the birth of Jesus Christ." Id. at 601-02.

While the government may not erect a stand-alone crèche or other holiday display similar to the one enjoined in Allegheny County, the Supreme Court has held that nativity scenes or other religious iconography are nevertheless permissible parts of government-sponsored holiday displays in certain, specific sets of circumstances. See Lynch v. Donnelly, 465 U.S. 669 (1984). Specifically, in Lynch v. Donnelly, the Court held that it was not unconstitutional for the government to display a crèche as only one element of a much larger seasonal holiday display that included, among other things, a Santa Claus house, reindeer pulling Santa's sleigh, candy-striped poles, a Christmas tree, carolers, cutout figures of a clown, elephant, and teddy bear, hundreds of colored lights, and a large "Seasons Greetings" banner. Id. at 672.

In other words, a holiday display of the season is alright. This is what we now have going on under our Capitol's Dome in Olympia. If we atheists had been denied our symbols, that would have resulted in our state's government endorsing some beliefs over others, which our federal Constitution most certainly does not allow.

Beyond Tensor The Studious, the key part of this whole thing for me is that the tree and the menorah are symbols of faith and the season (Celebrating the "festival of light" or Tannenbaum for some). The Atheist placard is just a verbal statement of derision. It has nothing to do with the solstice, winter or anything else for that matter. It is simply a teenage diatribe written to hurt religious believers. If "freedom of speech" and equal representation were the point here, a symbol of Atheist dogma would be used (whatever that may be I don't know) or a symbol of the Winter Solstice without comment.

Now, this is just silly. Written words are symbols of spoken words, which can be symbols of thought. (A notable exception is one particular type of gibberish spouted by some religious believers, called either "glossolalia" or "speaking in tongues.") The symbols on the placard accurately represent my beliefs, which are appropriate to any season. During Winter Solstice, the darkest days of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, it's fittingly symbolic to recall that "Science [I]s A Candle in the Darkness," to paraphrase Carl Sagan. You're free to disagree, of course; you have the same First Amendment rights as any other citizen. If you disagree with the sentiments on the placard, then just provide some evidence of anything beyond the natural world, or that angels or demons actually exist. As far as religion hardening hearts and closing minds, I believe Galileo might have something to teach you on that topic.

Oh, and if mere symbols of symbols can "hurt religious believers", then they really need to grow up, already. Repeat after me, "Sticks and stones..."

Posted by: tensor on December 14, 2008 02:30 PM
142. RE 140: You tried that cannard under your other name "reason". (I will at least give you credit for taking on a more appropriate name.)

Nice straw dog you have there. Have you given it a name?
NAME one organization of well over 1 BILLION members that is completely pure in every aspect of humanity, morality and legality.
Christianity makes up 33% of the WORLD population. Another 51% are members of religions not considered Christianity.
Can you even grasp those numbers?
That leaves you so-called "non-believers at a mere 16% of the WORLD population. In the US you so-called non-believers are a whopping 6% of the population. A whole lot of noise from such an insignificant FEW. As I said, attention whores.
In FACT of the total number of priests, the percentage accused (not proven, only accused) of abuse is under 3%.
Name even ONE segment of any population that is completely pure in every aspect of humanity morality and legality.
You can't. Because people are imperfect.
Belonging to a religion or purposely NOT belonging to one does not guarantee perfection.
I can promise you that if we took the time to compare agregious behaviour among faithful compared with those not of faith by percentage you heathens would win hands down.
Prove me wrong. Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on December 6, 2008 05:31 PM

And if you really want to talk about a "war on children" let's remember:

-> +50 MILLION children dead from the murder of "choice".

-> Indoctrination in school infecting our children with their deadly lies: Abortion is choice, not murder; capitalism is imperialism, not opportunity; abstinence is impossible, not healthy; and moral judgment is not wisdom-in-action, but (intolerable!) intolerance, "Heather has Two Mommies"

-> The difficulty in adoption ESPECIALLY since the best and most succesful at it was forced out by liberals and homosexuals.

-> The sexualization of children by TV, movies, advertisement and clothign manufacturers

-> The innocence lost by children attacked 24/7 with sex, pornography, violence, drugs, show-it-all fashion glamorized in filthy-language laced "music"

-> NAMBLA

-> Failing schools

-> Single mothers and the acceptance (celebration) of illegitmacy

-> "Whole language) vs phonics

-> Fuzzy Math

- > Eliminating competiton and "grades"

Oh, yes, absolutely let's have a discussion of the war on children

Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on December 14, 2008 02:30 PM
143. Did you read my post 138 to you, Bill?

The reason I joined this thread was because you and others were using extremely offensive language towards atheists and I wanted to ask you to conduct a better discussion. That was post #47. I followed that with post #101, at which point you began attacking me without addressing anything else. The only thing I am 'so worked up about' is what the people in this thread have called me and other atheists, and the assumptions, misrepresentations, and insults that keep coming up.

Posted by: Icarus on December 14, 2008 02:31 PM
144. extremely offensive language towards atheists

Extremely offensive language BY atheists:

At this season of the Winter Solstice may reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds."

You don't get to be the only arbitor of 'offensive".

Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on December 14, 2008 02:40 PM
145. Re:143

I assume your post was directed at Evil Atheist's post #139, not my post #140?

In any case, I think it's pretty clear that Evil Atheist was being sarcastic. His point was that there isn't actually a war on children just like there isn't actually a war on Christianity. He can cite articles, stories and incidents that make it seem like an organized war even though it's actually closer to isolated events, even if there is some structural problem, just like you did with Christianity in general. Just like the evidence you were giving for the war on Christianity.

Posted by: Icarus on December 14, 2008 02:41 PM
146. Give me one example Icarus where I have used "extremely offensive language" towards atheists.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 14, 2008 02:41 PM
147. @147:

You were by no means the most offensive. You weren't making personal attacks, but you were hugely mischaracterizing what I said and what liberals stand for to such an extent that it's difficult to accept it as genuine error. Some of the things you wrote:

"It's about destroying the family traditions that have characterized western civilization. It's about moral equivalency.

It's about a liberal culture that deliberately ignores the concepts of right and wrong, and good and evil."

Saying that we deliberately ignore right and wrong and want to destroy the core of our civilization is offensive.

"Liberals fear religion because it is a threat their socialist dream of a population utterly dependent upon government."
"I'll leave out the ultimate goal of uniform mediocrity and government dependence for the moment. "

You repeat this idea that all we want is a population dependent on government. That is insulting.

"That isn't what you really want though is it Icarus?"

Throughout this thread, you have routinely put words in my mouth, told me that I support things I don't, and generally not engaged in honest dialogue.

And you weren't even close to the most insulting of the people I was posting in response to. Your posts were at least mischaracterizations of policies rather than personal insults as some of the others were.

Posted by: Icarus on December 14, 2008 02:57 PM
148. Saying that we deliberately ignore right and wrong and want to destroy the core of our civilization is offensive.

Saying "Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds." is offensive.

Accusing people of faith of not being able to think for themselves or think rationally is offensive.

Verbally spitting at the traditions 80% of Americans hold dear is offensive.

Being told to hide our traditions behind the closed blinds and locked doors of our homes is offensive.

Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on December 14, 2008 03:03 PM
149. I don't care how "offended" you are by my opinions, Icarus.

This is so typical of liberals. It's not "I disagree", it's "I'm offended". It's how you people do business. It's why we have "political correctness". It's one of the games you play in order to quash opposing views.

I stand by every statement I made. Seems to me you've done nothing other than to reinforce them.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 14, 2008 03:07 PM
150. This is great. You can't make this stuff up.
It highlights how crazy Olympia has become a magnet for every nutjob in the country.

Bring on "Festivus."
I can hardly wait for the "Airing of Grievances" and the "Feats of Strength."

Posted by: mvray on December 14, 2008 03:16 PM
151. "Saying "Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds." is offensive."

Of course that's offensive. I already said as much. I do not approve of that message. The fact that that message was offensive doesn't mean you should be offensive in response.

Bill,

First of all, I did disagree with you. I tried to discuss the issues. Repeatedly. And you didn't respond to the content of my statements.

Second, as I said, your comments were not even close to the more offensive ones. Saying that the country would be better if all liberals died is more along that line. And telling me that I deliberately ignore good and evil is genuinely offensive.

Third, I didn't ask you to tone the language because I wanted to quash your views. I asked you to so there could be a real discussion about the issues, and offensive language makes that more difficult.

Posted by: Icarus on December 14, 2008 03:19 PM
152. Now, for some fun:

Huh? Just because you subscribe to a marginalized 5th or 6th century religion and can actually spell it doesn't mean that you understand Christianity on a most elemental level. And, like I said befo', you don't. But, you know what I like about your post? That smarmy, pseudo intellectual clap trap you use to try and convince people how smart you are. "Zoroastrianism". Ha, ha, ha!! Kinda reminds me of Eddie Haskell fishing for a big word to impress Mrs. Cleaver. You crack me up.

I don't subscribe to any belief without examining the evidence, and the evidence for Zoroaster is every bit as good as that for Wotan, Isis, Persephone, Vishnu, Allah, Jahweh, or Jesus. Since you missed the full reason I mentioned that particular mythology, I'll explain it to you.

Zoroaster was worshipped in ancient Persia, at the same time as Jahweh was worshipped in Judah. By the time the Romans had sent soldiers into Persia, conquered Judah, and re-named it Judaea, some Zoroastrians had developed an additional belief: Zoroaster had fathered a child, named Mithra. This younger god offered salvation to soldiers, much as Persephone offered salvation to everyone. (She rose from Hades in the Springtime; the ascension of a savior-deity from the dead is still celebrated by some humans, after each Vernal Equinox.) Mithra's appeal to the rulers of the Roman Empire meant it spread to places they ruled, and so the concept that the son of an elder god could offer salvation had entered the lands of the Jews. That may all be a bit much for someone who gets his wisdom from fifty-year-old sitcoms, so please tell if I need elaborate further.

...doesn't mean that you understand Christianity on a most elemental level. And, like I said befo', you don't.

Yes, you keep saying that. Repetition of a claim does nothing to prove it true. (For example, repeatedly saying, "Our Father, Who art in Heaven," does not mean either named entity exists, even if many humans repeat it in many languages over many years.) First, you need to show why Milton Vatican labels their bored game "Jeebus Rises!" as suitable only for players aged 14 and up. (Given the very large numbers of children who were forcibly converted to Christianity over the centuries, this is a pretty strange claim.) Next, you need to show why that fact, if true, applies to a discussion of religious symbols (from all belief systems) on our government's land. Finally, you need to show how my understanding of Christianity is so lacking. Good luck with all of that, remember to show your work, and also that I don't care.

Whatever. I happen to disagree with the "nothing at all" in the rotunda angle. The Christmas Tree stays and all other signage goes. Let them sue all they want, but by the time it actually gets somewhere, Christmas is over and then who cares about the pathetic and sad Atheist.

Glad to see that all of the hysteria over how "the state's budget deficit will eat us all, now that Saint Dino cannot slay it," has gone by the wayside. Unfortunately, replacing it with, "let's blow a wad of state tax money on a hopeless lawsuit," is not an acceptable substitute, especially when such a suit would only promote bigotry.

It's funny, but most, if not all, liberals are equally all gutless wimps when it comes to taking a stand for their own personal lives, but have no problem doing whatever it takes to make others lives completely miserable.

Pat Tillman, an American atheist killed fighting the theocratic Taliban for us, was a "gutless wimp," eh? You know, his brother is also an atheist, and also a soldier, and still alive. I'd pay good money to watch you say that to his face.

Liberals hate solid, American values as much as Al Qaeda does and this latest donnybrook at the State Capitol proves as much.

Yes, if Al-Qaeda took over our state's government, the absolute first thing they would do would be to install Jewish, Christian, and atheist symbols in their new Capitol. Can I have some of whatever you've been taking?

One more thing: can anyone tell me what the difference is between the Islamo-facist hatred for our core values and the hatred of those same values coming from the uber-liberal, secular-progressive, excrement smeared Democrat Party left?

Well, most Muslims have a better sense of holiday cheer than that statement contains, for one.

It cracks me up that in the last TWO weeks O'Reilly has made a very profitable cottage industry of mocking, harrassing, exposing and embarassing the chrissy queen.

And you're just as classy as ol' Bill. Seriously, do you really think anyone should care about what some cable-TV blowhard blathers about anything? Yes, he makes good money riling up the rubes, but it pays better than cleaning public toilets or removing dog poop from our sidewalks, and does not exceed his abilities. Have fun shouting at your TV set (psst, they can't hear you)!

Our government did not promote religion. Allowing a religious display on government property is NOT the same thing as government promoting religion.

See http://www.aclu.org/christmas/xmas_law.html. Thanks for playing.

Posted by: tensor on December 14, 2008 03:26 PM
153. I said you deliberately ignore good and evil?

I guess you'd have to give me the quote. I expect you might be taking what I said rather out of context. Or maybe I said something dumb. Wouldn't be the first time.

When liberals say stuff like,
"I didn't ask you to tone the language because I wanted to quash your views. I asked you to so there could be a real discussion about the issues, and offensive language makes that more difficult." what they really mean is the same thing as when they want to have a "dialogue".

The moment you have a contrary opinion guess what? They are "offended".

Liberals want to own the playing field, own the balls and bats, and make all the rules. There isn't much evidence to the contrary.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 14, 2008 03:32 PM
154. One final post.

I should mention that I'm writing against the conservatives here because of my beliefs, but the insulting language is just as frustrating when it comes from either side. So many of the discussions here, and on other forums on the internet, quickly devolve from a discussion of issues to flame wars about things completely tangential to the original topic.

I've seen valid points coming from both sides in this thread. But it's hard to take anyone seriously when the method is covered in a series of veiled, or not so veiled, insults. Those insults help and convince no one.

Posted by: Icarus on December 14, 2008 03:35 PM
155. When you exaggerate what commentors have said it doesn't add to the discussion Icarus.

Pretended you are somehow above the fray doesn't either.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 14, 2008 03:50 PM
156. RE: 143

"NAME one organization of well over 1 BILLION members that is completely pure in every aspect of humanity, morality and legality."


And that is the excuse for raping children?


You certainly run around the planet claiming you are morally superior than "those godless Atheists". Given your hellfire and brimstone reponse to ONE PLACARD, I'd think surely you'd be on a crusade to stop priests from molesting children. Yet I have NEVER seen a single post from you advocating anything CLOSE to the anger over the molestation of children as YOU have displayed over ONE SMALL PLACARD. YOU instead choose to MKAE EXCUSES for the pedophiles.

One can only conclude you think protection of pedophiles priest is more important that protecting children. You keep on making excuses for them.


"Christianity makes up 33% of the WORLD population. Another 51% are members of religions not considered Christianity."

Yes I can. This means Christianity is in the MINORITY. Can you grasp that? A whole lost of noise a minority cult.


"Name even ONE segment of any population that is completely pure in every aspect of humanity morality and legality."

Christians sure claim to be that. Surely had any Atheist commited similar transgressions you'd be citing that to paint all Ahteists as evil people.


"NAMBLA"

Perhaps you should keep better control over your Catholic preists:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,49851,00.html

BOSTON -- For over 20 years, the Rev. Paul Shanley established a reputation as a "street priest," setting up a ministry for runaways, drug addicts, drifters and teen-agers struggling with sexuality.

But Shanley apparently had another side. Newly released documents show he had an extended history of sexual-misconduct allegations. He publicly defended sex between men and boys and was even at the sexuality conference that saw the founding of the North American Man Boy Love Association.

Among the documents turned over by the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Boston in relation to a lawsuit recently filed against it was the Feb. 12, 1979, issue of a publication called GaysWeek that includes an article titled "Men & Boys."

Roderick MacLeish Jr., an attorney for the family of alleged abuse victim Gregory Ford, 24, showed the magazine to reporters Monday, along with some of the 817 other church records given to Ford under court order.

The records include 26 complaints of sex abuse against Shanley, MacLeish said.

"+50 MILLION children dead from the murder of "choice"."

And how is that the fault of Atheists? There aren't that many Athiest in this country! It must be the majority christian making that "choice".

If an athesits steps out of line it is "look how ALL athesits are evil and want to bring down western civilization". If a christian does so it is "well we aren't prefect".

Hypcorites!

Posted by: Evil Atheist on December 14, 2008 03:53 PM
157. More from the article:

The GaysWeek article described a meeting of 150 people in Boston on the topic of man-boy love. It said many speakers representing various religions endorsed such relationships � including Shanley, who was there as a representative of then-Cardinal of Boston Humberto Medeiros' program for outreach to sexual minorities.


In February 1979, the same month as the NAMBLA meeting, Cardinal Medeiros sent a letter to the Vatican's Cardinal Franjo Seper, telling the cardinal that he had met with Shanley and told the priest he was "confusing people" with his teachings about homosexuality. Shanley had produced tapes for distribution called "Changing Norms of Sexuality."

"I believe that Father Shanley is a troubled priest," Medeiros later told the Vatican.

Yet Shanley was allowed to continue in the priesthood for years. When he moved to California to join the San Bernardino Diocese in 1990, he served for three years without restriction on his contact with children.

"All of the suffering that has taken place at the hands of Paul Shanley, a serial child molester for four decades � three of them in Boston � none of it had to happen," said MacLeish.

Ford, who said he repeatedly was raped by Shanley in the 1980s, also alleges that Boston Cardinal Bernard Law, who succeeded Medeiros, allowed the priest to remain as pastor at St. John the Evangelist Parish until 1989, despite knowledge of his behavior.

Posted by: Evil Atheist on December 14, 2008 03:58 PM
158. Just a tiny little exerpt from #157, "One can only conclude you think protection of pedophiles priest is more important that protecting children. You keep on making excuses for them."

This is what often passes for "dialogue" with the left. Entirely unreasoned ranting that grows ever more strident when folks like O'Reilly call attention their agenda.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 14, 2008 04:02 PM
159. :This is what often passes for "dialogue" with the left. Entirely unreasoned ranting that grows ever more strident when folks like O'Reilly call attention their agenda."

Well Bill, how else does pedophilia go on in a church for over 40 years without any action taken on it? A lot of Catholics have to look the other way.

Rags respones is "we're not perfect". No outrage at all about the abuse. Not once did he EVER say "I find it horrible and as a beleiver I am saddened". Nope, instead he went on to make excuses.

Perhaps if christians like Rag had one one hundredth the amount of outrage for pedophile preists as they have at a 1 foot by 3 foot placard and atheists in general, perhaps there would be a 40 year legacy of child rape.

And while we are on the subject of the government having displays to "recognize the historic impact of christianity", perhaps there should be a display of a preist humping an altar boy. After all, we DO want to recognize the "christian contribution" now don't we?

Posted by: Evil Atheist on December 14, 2008 04:16 PM
160. Alright, you got me back in for one more :).

"When you exaggerate what commentors have said it doesn't add to the discussion Icarus.

Pretended you are somehow above the fray doesn't either."

You're right, of course, and I'm not perfect. But I do at least try to keep to content rather than insulting and demonizing the other side. I've just gotten fed up today with the amount of vitriol that has come out in this thread. There's plenty of ranting coming from every direction.

I don't think I have been exaggerating comments. The accusation of ignoring good/evil was this:

"It's about a liberal culture that deliberately ignores the concepts of right and wrong, and good and evil."

You don't use the word 'you,' but throughout you've routinely have been referring to me with phrases such as 'you liberals' or 'liberals always so' before quoting me, so I don't think it's a stretch to assume that the above sentence was meant to include me.

Posted by: Icarus on December 14, 2008 04:18 PM
161. You certainly run around the planet claiming you are morally superior than "those godless Atheists".

Point to even ONE specific example regarding me.

Given your hellfire and brimstone reponse to ONE PLACARD

Point to even ONE specific example regarding me.

Yet I have NEVER seen a single post from you advocating anything CLOSE to the anger over the molestation of children as YOU have displayed over ONE SMALL PLACARD.

Priests, good, bad or indifferent, have absolutely nothing to do with the hateful intolerance displayed against +80% of Americans who consider themselves people of faith. The 'anger' is over the hateful intolerance that they decided would garner them the most publicity by displaying it next to religious artifacts at a particularly religious time. The joke is ultimately on them: by whining about not being included WITH religious artifacts, they de facto put themselves in the ranks of relgious.

YOU instead choose to MKAE EXCUSES for the pedophiles.

Point to even ONE specific example regarding me.... and I can spell.

One can only conclude you think protection of pedophiles priest is more important that protecting children.

One can only conclude that not only do you NOT think, you don't even have a passing acquaintance with basic LOGIC... you know, that inconvenient premise/conclusion stuff you don't seem to grasp.

This means Christianity is in the MINORITY. Can you grasp that?

Cute one trick, little pony. You conveniently missed the premise and CONCLUSION:

Christianity makes up 33% of the WORLD population. Another 51% are members of religions not considered Christianity.

Hmm, now let me think... CONCLUSION: 33% Christianity + 51% Other Religions = 84%. Yep, that's a MAJORITY of the worlds population who are people of faith. Can you grasp THAT?

"+50 MILLION children dead from the murder of "choice"."
And how is that the fault of Atheists? There aren't that many Athiest in this country! It must be the majority christian making that "choice".

There's that old reading comprehension problem rearing it's thick little head again... or are you just taking it out of CONTEXT for the sake of hyperbole... or perhaps your self-serving sense of 'Oh, I'm so clever'.

The SUBJECT to which the +50 MILLION children dead from the murder of "choice" referred was the WAR ON CHILDREN.

Hypcorites!

No comment.

I changed my mind.

ONE comment: spelling counts.

Keep trying.

Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on December 14, 2008 04:46 PM
162. Rags respones is "we're not perfect". No outrage at all about the abuse. Not once did he EVER say "I find it horrible and as a beleiver I am saddened". Nope, instead he went on to make excuses.

You are insulting beyond belief.

ONE has absolutely nothing to do with the other. Atheists perpetuating their brand of hate would only lead to the thought of abusive priests in a small mind with an agenda of keeping that hate alive.

Evil is an apt monker.

Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on December 14, 2008 04:52 PM
163. How clever of you, EVIL, to place the blame of the priests on their victims.

Yes, ALL Catholics are their victims.

ALL Catholics cannot police every room of every parish every moment of every day.

NO Catholics chose to be lead by a very few rogue priests.

NO Catholic wanted that kind of attention or reputation.

On the other hand, you atheists purposely chose to offend, to hurt, to victimoze to garner maximum publicity and attention

Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on December 14, 2008 05:02 PM
164. "You don't use the word 'you,' but throughout you've routinely have been referring to me with phrases such as 'you liberals' or 'liberals always so' before quoting me, so I don't think it's a stretch to assume that the above sentence was meant to include me."

Bourbon on the rocks, or maybe a martini. Couldn't hurt.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 14, 2008 05:09 PM
165.

"Point to even ONE specific example regarding me."

Sure, here is but ONE example:

POST #143 : "I can promise you that if we took the time to compare agregious behaviour among faithful compared with those not of faith by percentage you heathens would win hands down."

"Point to even ONE specific example regarding me."

Well the ENITRE THREAD is a good example. You of course will moronically come back and say you wanted one, so here is your ONE:

From post #35:

" In the spirit of the season, so to speak, I wish to offer helpful advice to these tireless workers against the Almighty. In order for their movement to be successful, they need consistency, and I have just the plan to help them achieve their end game: Atheists, in order to protect their integrity, must sue every government office to eliminate a paid Christmas holiday for federal, state and local government workers.

I honestly don't know how atheists will be able to sleep all snuggled in their beds on Dec. 24, knowing that the very next day every city, state and federal worker will be paid with taxpayer dollars so the birth of Christ can be recognized. The thought of public school teachers receiving government compensation for a religious event must cause visions of sugarplums to evaporate from their dreams.

Come to think of it, why are most government offices closed on Sundays and Saturdays? Again, terribly inconsistent. Given our current budget crises, I think the government could save money, get more work done and get rid of a holiday that clearly stands against everything that atheists believe - while also forcing everyone receiving taxpayer funds to show up for work on weekends."


"One can only conclude that not only do you NOT think, you don't even have a passing acquaintance with basic LOGIC... you know, that inconvenient premise/conclusion stuff you don't seem to grasp."

You keep on defending the pedophile preists.

Show ONE post where YOU condemned the pedophile preists.

"Cute one trick, little pony. You conveniently missed the premise and CONCLUSION:

Hmm, now let me think... CONCLUSION: 33% Christianity + 51% Other Religions = 84%. Yep, that's a MAJORITY of the worlds population who are people of faith. Can you grasp THAT?


Certainly. Actually I think your numbers are off, it is probably a total closer to 90% or more of "people of faith".

But what does that imply?

The MAJORITY of the people raping, robbing , killing and torturing are "People of faith".

If Afghanistan, it isn't a bunch of Athiests running around throwing acid on little girls faces because they have the "audacity" to go to school to learn.

Theose aren't Atheists that are packing the alter boys fudge in Catholic churches.

Those weren't Atheists who slammed the planes into the World Trade Center on 911.

And before YOU go there, I will head you off at the pass. It wasn't Atheists that killed under the Jesuit Stalin or the Christian Hitler.


I have never hear dof Atheist "jihad". What group of beleivers was that again? Sounds like a vinegar, Balsamic...

"There's that old reading comprehension problem rearing it's thick little head again... or are you just taking it out of CONTEXT for the sake of hyperbole... or perhaps your self-serving sense of 'Oh, I'm so clever'."

I am sorry your reading comprehension problem is rearing it's ugly head again. I am simply using mathematics to show you how it is impossible for all the athests to be aborting 50 million people each year. Now I know you like to jail atheists or anyone else who dares use science or mathematics. You even become jubulant over the destruction of sciene to promote religion.

"Keep trying."

Don't need to "try" anything with you. The placard still stands in the rotunda.

If you want more recognition for the "contributions" christianity has made to society, we can always put the holy altar boy rape scene in place, perhaps the iron maiden from the dungeons of the inquisition too?


Posted by: Evil Atheist on December 14, 2008 05:15 PM
166. "How clever of you, EVIL, to place the blame of the priests on their victims."

I think your reading comprehension problem is kicking in again.

Show me ONE exmple where I blamed the victims of the pedophile priests for their molestation.

"Yes, ALL Catholics are their victims."

Still making excuses.

"ALL Catholics cannot police every room of every parish every moment of every day."

Another whiny excuse.

"NO Catholics chose to be lead by a very few rogue priests."

Well quite a few in fact. The Boston archdiocease to name ONE example.

It is just more convenient for you to timidly look the other way.

"NO Catholic wanted that kind of attention or reputation."

I am sure they didn't. That doesn't mean they gave a tinkers damn about the raped boys. It just means they didn't want attention drawn to it.

"On the other hand, you atheists purposely chose to offend, to hurt, to victimoze to garner maximum publicity and attention"

Really? How so? By stating the truth? In fact the placard didn't go far enough if it was to be historically accurate. It should have said "enslaves minds and bodies" to reference the christian "contribution" of damaged children from the papal den of sodomy. And speaking of the pope, how is that old Nazi anyway? Does his miss his days as a Nazi youth?

Rags you are indeed the proof positive that religion hardens hearts and enslaves minds.

Posted by: Evil Atheist on December 14, 2008 05:26 PM
167. Show ONE post where YOU condemned the pedophile preists.

The post is NOT about priests. YOU changed the subject ('Oh look we intolerant hateful atheists aren't nearly as bad as those nasty Catholics') to make yourself feel better about defending intolerance and hatefulness.

Nice try. Not biting.

The MAJORITY of the people raping, robbing , killing and torturing are "People of faith".

Let's see some FACTS and sources to back up your imagined tripe.

If Afghanistan, it isn't a bunch of Athiests running around throwing acid on little girls faces because they have the "audacity" to go to school to learn.

Do you even know what the heck it is you were trying to say here? I don't translate babble

I am sorry your reading comprehension problem is rearing it's ugly head again. I am simply using mathematics to show you how it is impossible for all the athests to be aborting 50 million people each year. Now I know you like to jail atheists or anyone else who dares use science or mathematics. You even become jubulant over the destruction of sciene to promote religion.

Nice try. TWO different subjects. But then you knew that... it just didn't suit your nastiness OR rhetoric.

If you want more recognition for the "contributions" christianity has made to society, we can always put the holy altar boy rape scene in place, perhaps the iron maiden from the dungeons of the inquisition too?

There you go: a prime example of "tolerance" and "intelligent" discourse from the left.

Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on December 14, 2008 05:31 PM
168. That doesn't mean they gave a tinkers damn about the raped boys.

Yeah you caught every single Catholic in America!
Every single one of them/us KNEW priests were abusing and we stood by cheering them on.

You got us! Boy, aren't you clever!

/sarcasm.

I find it hard to imagine any sane person could be as clearly ignorant and willingly hateful as you. Why is it those that need God the most deny Him and insult Him the loudest.

Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on December 14, 2008 05:49 PM
169. "The post is NOT about priests. YOU changed the subject ('Oh look we intolerant hateful atheists aren't nearly as bad as those nasty Catholics') to make yourself feel better about defending intolerance and hatefulness."

"Nice try. Not biting."

You'll "bite" to the extent you will make excuses for the priests. Not a word of outrage from you Rags. It is when people like you look the other way in order to avoid unpleasanttries and scandal, that is how such abuse can go on for decades.

"Let's see some FACTS and sources to back up your imagined tripe."

Well, unless you weren't citing as fact when you claimed that 84% of the world's population are believers, I cite that fact. Are you saying you lied in your multiple posts on this thread? Tsk, I should have known better than to trust someone who believes in myths and mysticism. I thought you were different Rags.

"Do you even know what the heck it is you were trying to say here? I don't translate babble"

Oh puhleeze. Playing that tired old "I don't understand" act. Yeah it is exactly that self enfirced ignorance that allowed priests to rape altar boys.

Since you are feigning ignorance (not much of a stretch for you Rags):

Two schoolgirls blinded in acid attack in Afghanistan

Girls were forbidden to attend school under the Taliban, which ruled the country from 1996 to 2001, when U.S.-led forces removed them from power. Video Watch reaction to the attack from U.S. first lady Laura Bush »

According to Al-Jazeera, the girls were attacked with battery acid. Two teenage sisters, one of whom suffered serious burns, were among the victims.

Those fine folks are from YOUR 84%.


Nice try. TWO different subjects. But then you knew that... it just didn't suit your nastiness OR rhetoric.

Two different aspects of the same "enslaving of minds" wrought by religion and thus quite relevant to the discussion. Oh, but I am sorry. I forgot you cannot handle more than one thing at a time.

"There you go: a prime example of "tolerance" and "intelligent" discourse from the left."

I don't tolerate child rape, you are right about that. Interesting how you didn't even make the attempt anymore to claim you were also against it. Just "looking the other way" again I see.

Posted by: Evil Atheist on December 14, 2008 05:55 PM
170. As I stated in post 167 Rags, show me ONE exmple where I blamed the victims of the pedophile priests for their molestation.

I'm still waiting.

Posted by: Evil Atheist on December 14, 2008 06:00 PM
171. You'll "bite" to the extent you will make excuses for the priests.

Show me one "excuse". Can you even define the word?

Well, unless you weren't citing as fact when you claimed that 84% of the world's population are believers, I cite that fact. Are you saying you lied in your multiple posts on this thread? Tsk, I should have known better than to trust someone who believes in myths and mysticism.

More disconnected, unintelligable babble.

Interesting how you didn't even make the attempt anymore to claim you were also against it. Just "looking the other way" again I see.

Interesting that you persist in yet another baseless and easily disproven claim.

The question is why?

The answer is so you can deflect from the original uncomfortable subject at hand: the crass and hateful behaviour of some attention seeking faith fearing cowards with whom you (apparently proudly) share a name.

Your red herring tactic is well known as not only sleazy, but intellectually dishonest (Oh gee, there's a surprise!).

Changing the subject (Digression, Red Herring, Misdirection, False Emphasis): debater is losing so he tries to redirect the attention of the audience to another subject area where he thinks he can look better relative to the person he is debating

It is also a tedious and boring "Argumentum ad nauseam".

As I stated in post 167 Rags, show me ONE exmple where I blamed the victims of the pedophile priests for their molestation.

Oh excuse the hell out of me: you didn't "blame the victim", YOU ACCUSED EVERY CATHOLIC for the behaviour of a few, another example of your cheap intellectual dishonesty: "Tu quoque".

Oh wait! Let me phrase it in a way you can recognize and understand: "I know you are, but what am I?", the PeeWee Herman defense.

You appear to excel at it... I guess everyone is indeed good at something.

I think we're seeing a pattern here: EVIL is incapable of intellectual honesty.

There's a shock.

Never mind the fact that EVERY CATHOLIC was hurt, saddened and ashamed by the scandals, never mind the fact that YOUR tarring them with the filth of a few does indeed make them VICTIMS, not only of the few rogue priests but more blatantly of YOU.

EVIL indeed. You chose well.

Grow the hell up. Return to the actual subject at hand or be ignored. I don't play games with children... or waste my with those intellectually AND integrity challenged.

Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on December 14, 2008 11:49 PM
172. "Show me one "excuse". Can you even define the word?"

Post #143:

"NAME one organization of well over 1 BILLION members that is completely pure in every aspect of humanity, morality and legality."

"More disconnected, unintelligable babble."

I am quite certain logic and reason appear to be babble to someone who believes in myths and mysticism. You look at logic and reason and react like a monkey that has come accross a computer - in total bewilderment.


"Interesting that you persist in yet another baseless and easily disproven claim."

Then why don't YOU tell me how a preist can abuse a child over several years without ANYONE finding out about it? Please tell us. How does that happen?


"The answer is so you can deflect from the original uncomfortable subject at hand: the crass and hateful behaviour of some attention seeking faith fearing cowards with whom you (apparently proudly) share a name."

No it is YOU who wish to deflect from the uncomfortable topic of catholic pedophilia. You'd say ANYTHING to get the subject changed. The sign is there, it is staying up, unless of course you hypocrites who swear to the commandment "thou shall not steal" again break your commandments and steal it.

"Interesting that you persist in yet another baseless and easily disproven claim."

On the contrary, I have merely cited the lack of any statement of remourse for the preistly perversions. It is you who refuse to even now say it was wrong or that it made you ashamed to be a catholic. Instead you try to piggy back on the tragedy to solicit sympathy for yourself. How selfish is that?

"Oh excuse the hell out of me: you didn't "blame the victim", YOU ACCUSED EVERY CATHOLIC for the behaviour of a few, another example of your cheap"

Oh puhleeze. Anyone who stands by while a child is being hurt, is an accomplice. Perhaps if someone had been willing to question the authority of the church rather than blindly accept what they said, not as many children would have been molested. That is indeed the problem with religion in general isn't it? The prerequisite for blind faith in the face of lack of proof.


"Never mind the fact that EVERY CATHOLIC was hurt, saddened and ashamed by the scandals, never mind the fact that YOUR tarring them with the filth of a few does indeed make them VICTIMS, not only of the few rogue priests but more blatantly of YOU."

Well isn't that convenient. Every catholic was hurt. Really? Did every catholic have a priest anally raping them? It is so convenient to excuse yourselves with that excuse. But in the end, you'll not be having to see a therapist for the rest of your life will you? You won't see a rape counselor will you? You take the tragedy of this and find pity for yourself from it rather than man up and take responsibility. YOU and your "defend the church at any cost" will be the reason that the sex scandals in your church aren't over.


At any rate, the sign is there, there it will stay. Next year there will also be a sign and there is nothing you can do to stop it. Ironically, it was you self righteous christians that assured such as sign would always be allowed when you sued to get your religious regalia placed in the public building. You know what they say, be careful what you wish for.

Have yourself a happy holiday, whichever one you might celebrate.

Posted by: Evil Atheist on December 15, 2008 01:24 AM
173. If anyone does not believe that many on the left want to eliminate the Christmas holiday they need only read the posts here from Evil Atheist and others.

And the anger. Chilling, really.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 15, 2008 08:37 AM
174. So with [Richard] Dawkins hiding under his desk and [Peter] Singer sprinting for cover, is modern atheism losing its nerve?
Many of the new atheists, I suggested, want to get rid of Christianity but keep core Christian values. Richard Dawkins has even identified himself as a "cultural Christian."

Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on December 15, 2008 11:15 AM
175. Just because I renounced atheism one day on the way out of a damp prison in Quito, Ecuador, did not mean I instantly became a Christian.
Jesus did posit as his Second Great Commandment that we should love our neighbors as ourselves. But, before we reach out to do good for our neighbors, the First Great Commandment says we must love the Lord with all our heart, mind, and soul. We can't do that without moving towards the Cross of Christ when things are stormy in our lives.

Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on December 15, 2008 11:23 AM
176. Atheists can't preside over Vegas weddings (boohoo)

Atheist may sue if law on Las Vegas officiants won't change

Of course they'll sue... it's the altar upon which they enjoy their whine.

***

Atheists' national holiday (Hmmm... holiday... wouldn't that be an oxymoron? ... in more ways than one??)

As long as the capitol in Washington is allowing variance of religious opinion to line their corridors like Christmas potpourri, let me posit this last idea as a final pre-Christmas posting. At the base of the bust of George Washington (which stands between the atheist's winter solstice sign and the nativity in the capitol), I suggest a push for one more sign containing the wisdom from Washington's Farewell Address: "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens."
Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on December 15, 2008 11:53 AM
177. God and the economy
Writing "The Irrational Atheist" was an interesting exercise in swimming through a sea of unsupported assumptions and incompetent arguments. But one thing I noticed is that beneath the vast compendium of logical blunders and factual errors, there was a single false belief that serves as a flawed foundation for the entire New Atheist attack on Christianity. That is the idea that reason is capable of dictating individual belief.

Interesting! He only got the NAME wrong!

It is interesting to note that even as the Dow has lost 40 percent of its value in the last year, polls indicate that atheism is more unpopular than it was before the New Atheism first appeared. ...


Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on December 15, 2008 12:07 PM
178. TENSOR.

ACLU also supports NAMBLA.

Kind of throws everything out doesn't it.

Posted by: Medic/Vet on December 15, 2008 02:07 PM
179. Yep, that's the most brilliant reply you could ever hope to give. You did not, of course, provide any links or citations, because that would be evidence of something.

The ACLU of Florida defended Rush Limbaugh's privacy rights, because even drug addicts should have some dignity. Kinda throws everything out doesn't it.

Posted by: tensor on December 15, 2008 03:37 PM
180. since we are famous for being the nations's laughingstock on many fronts, how about an "Enumclaw Display?" (no offense to friends from that city)

I'm envisioning one of those lighted horses, a lighted man, and a "tolerance/diversity/inclusive" pose together reflecting a not-too-recent national news story? heck--let's let it all hang out; Frisco Light;

and guess we'll handle our massive, serious state budget deficit the same way as this display fiasco;

Posted by: jimmie-howya-doin on December 16, 2008 05:48 AM
181. BINGO!

... The presence of that crèche in the Washington state capitol is a sacred reminder of the morality that is the foundation of the American idea itself. It is a morality encoded in the laws of Washington state, laws Governor Gregoire is sworn to uphold. It is a morality enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights, not to mention carved in marble in one Washington, D.C. monument, memorial and office building after another. ...
... Media reports shriek of very angry people distraught that their life savings have been plundered, of distraught investors radiating out from America and going literally around the globe. But if in fact that crèche is not sacred and is undeserving of the respectful treatment it is not receiving from Governor Gregoire, why all the upset? So Bernie Madoff stole lots of money. So he may have ruined the lives of untold numbers of people. So what? To follow the Gregoire logic, the Governor is enforcing laws that are in fact a fraud themselves, laws based on the superstition and myth discussed on the sign in her own state capitol. A sign which, by its mere presence at this time of year, implies parity with the values represented by that crèche. ...
... So the guv tried to sell a seat in the U.S. Senate for personal profit? Who cares? What's to fuss? Let Blago be Blago!
For that matter, why the all the uproar over someone else in the news -- O.J. Simpson? Sure there are people all over the country who believe the ex-football great got away with the brutal murder of two people, one of them his wife. It seems this contributed to his recent conviction for trying to forcibly take back some memorabilia he believed belonged to him. (O.J. was angry that someone had STOLEN his stuff. Imagine that! Where did he ever get the idea stealing was wrong?) If that crèche in Washington state is just about superstition and myth, then O.J. (assuming he did it, of course) has been put through the ringer for years for...nothing. ...
... If, as Governor Gregoire maintains by her own actions in this instance, that the values represented in this crèche are some sort of joke or are morally relative and no big deal, that they do not deserve to be treated with the reverence and respect millions give them, then why does Washington state need a governor at all?
After all, if it turns out some atheist investor in Washington has been robbed by Mr. Madoff, the real question from the rest of us should be: who cares?
Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on December 16, 2008 10:47 AM
182. Christmas Parade a la gregoire

Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on December 16, 2008 11:23 AM
183. God of the Universe, Revealed

Posted by: Ragnar Danneskold on December 16, 2008 11:53 AM
184. After all, if it turns out some atheist investor in Washington has been robbed by Mr. Madoff, the real question from the rest of us should be: who cares?

Is this what you righties call a "tough-on-crime" attitude?

Posted by: tensor on December 16, 2008 10:29 PM
185. Did you bother to notice that it's a quote... or even to read the link... or follow the logic?

Clearly not.

You did what liberals always do: pick one word/line/comment OUT OF CONTEXT and use it to paint broad strokes of smarminess and lies to use for your benefit. It's yet another example of your intellectual dishonesty.

Nice try.
No.

Actually, it was a pathetic, miserable and moronic try, but I bet it made you feel all smug inside.

Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on December 16, 2008 11:58 PM
186.

"ACLU also supports NAMBLA."

So do Catholic Pedophile Preists.


"You did what liberals always do: pick one word/line/comment OUT OF CONTEXT and use it to paint broad strokes of smarminess and lies to use for your benefit. "

HA! The pot calling the kettle black.

Posted by: Evile Atheist on December 17, 2008 01:10 AM
187. No rebuttal, no commentary, no indication links were understood or even read... just more mindless argumentum ad hominem.

Gee, there's a surprise. When there IS no rebuttal, that's all you have. When you are intellectually dishonest, that's all you have.

Here's a few more that I have no doubt you will neither read nor understand, but will attempt to glean a few more moronic insults and out of context epithets to hurl.

I wonder if you even know upon which of us that reflects badly?

The atheists' delusion

Without a soul, freedom too is impossible - we are all slaves to our biology. According to atheists, human beings are intensely complex machines. Our actions are determined by our genetics and our environment. According to atheists, if we could somehow determine all the constituent material parts of the universe, we would be able to predict all human action, down to the exact moment at which Vice President-elect Joe Biden will pick his nose.

We don't jail squirrels for garden theft or dogs for assaulting cats - they aren't responsible for their actions. But we routinely lock up kleptomaniacs and violent felons.

Christmas Symbols Deserve More Respect Than Atheist Insults

The separationist extremists seek a Christmas -free and religion-free America that never existed before - or else a nation that even-handedly mocks a great multiplicity of faiths, as did the proposed displays in Olympia.

National Survey of Children's Health Finds That Children and Parents of the Religious Intact Family Do Best on Child Development PDF: http://downloads.frc.org/EF/EF08L48.pdf

A new study from the Mapping America project, co-released by more than 30 state family policy councils, finds that children have fewer problems at school and home when they live with both biological parents and frequently attend religious services. Dr. Nicholas Zill, the founding president of Child Trends, and Dr. Philip Fletcher, a research psychologist at Westat, co-authored the new study, which analyzes data from the National Survey of Children's Health.

Among their remarkable findings: children in this group are five times less likely to repeat a grade, less likely to have behavior problems at home and school, and are more likely to be cooperative and understanding of others' feelings. Parents of these children report less stress, healthier parent-child relationships, and fewer concerns about their children's achievement. These differences hold up even after controlling for family income and poverty, low parent education levels, and race and ethnicity.

***

Jesus is Better than Santa

Santa lives at the North Pole.
JESUS is everywhere.
Santa rides in a sleigh
JESUS rides on the wind and walks on the water.
Santa comes but once a year
JESUS is an ever present help.
Santa fills your stockings with goodies
JESUS supplies all your needs.
Santa comes down your chimney uninvited
JESUS stands at your door and knocks..
And then enters your heart.

You have to stand in line to see Santa
JESUS is as close as the mention of His name.
Santa lets you sit on his lap
JESUS lets you rest in His arms.
Santa doesn't know your name, all he can say is
"Hi little boy or girl, What's your name?"
JESUS knew our name before we did.
Not only does He know our name,
He knows our address too.
He knows our history and future and He
even knows how many hairs are on our heads.

Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly
JESUS has a heart full of love.
All Santa can offer is HO HO HO
JESUS offers health, help and hope.
Santa says "You better not cry"
JESUS says "Cast all your cares on me
for I care for you.

Santa's little helpers make toys
JESUS makes new life, mends wounded hearts,
repairs broken homes and builds mansions.

Santa may make you chuckle but
JESUS gives you joy that is your strength.
While Santa puts gifts under your tree
JESUS became our gift and died on the tree.
May the Lord Bless and watch over you and your loved ones this Christmas 2008 and may He prosper and bless the work of your hands in the New Year.


Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on December 17, 2008 03:17 PM
188. Our youngest son grew up with a series of books that would probably..er, DEFINITELY educate and enlighten a few small and weak minds here... you know who you are.

The American Adventure Series

American Adventure is a Christian US history paperback series by Barbour Publishing Co. for ages 8-12 and up. The series is an excellent introduction to American history.
Kids are the main characters in these exciting adventure stories. Readers will experience the children's daily way of life and encounter historical events as seen through a child's eyes at the time. They will discover how it felt to experience the stock market crash, live through the Great Depression, send loved ones off to war, hear that Japan surrendered in World War II, and more.
The American Adventure books are written from a Christian perspective and include Bible verses, prayers, hymns, and moral lessons related to each story. They emphasize the significance of God in our country's history, the importance of having godly character, the relevance of wholesome family values and traditional gender roles.

I suggest you start at the beginning...

1 - The Mayflower Adventure
2 - Plymouth Pioneers
3 - Dream Seekers
4 - Fire by Night
5 - Queen Anne's War
6 - Danger in the Harbor
7 - Smallpox Strikes!
8 - Maggie's Choice
9 - Boston Revolts!
10 - The Boston Massacre
11 - The American Revolution
12 - The American Victory
13 - Adventure in the Wilderness
14 - Earthquake in Cincinnati
15 - Trouble on the Ohio River
16 - Escape from Slavery
17 - Cincinnati Epidemic
18 - Riot in the Night
19 - Fight for Freedom
20 - Enemy or Friend?
21 - Danger on the Railroad
22 - Time for Battle
23 - The Rebel Spy
24 - War's End
25 - Centennial Celebration
26 - The Great Mill Explosion
27 - Lights for Minneapolis
28 - The Streetcar Riots
29 - Chicago World's Fair
30 - A Better Bicycle
31 - The New Citizen
32 - The San Francisco Earthquake
33 - Marching with Sousa
34 - Clash with the Newsboys
35 - Prelude to War
36 - The Great War
37 - The Flu Epidemic
38 - Women Win the Vote
39 - Battling the Klan
40 - The Bootlegger Menace
41 - Black Tuesday
42 - The Great Depression
43 - Starting Over
44 - Changing Times
45 - Rumblings of War
46 - War Strikes
47 - The Home Front
48 - Coming Home

...And perhaps, sometime along the way you will grow the hell up.

Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on December 17, 2008 07:47 PM
189. "The atheists' delusion"

What was that you were saying about mindless argumentum ad hominem?

"The separationist extremists seek a Christmas -free and religion-free America that never existed before - or else a nation that even-handedly mocks a great multiplicity of faiths, as did the proposed displays in Olympia."

Straw Man.

"National Survey of Children's Health Finds That Children and Parents of the Religious Intact Family Do Best on Child Development"

What you left out was that the "research" was done by the Family Research Council, a religious organization whose aim is to promote religion.

From their mission statement:

"Believing that God is the author of life, liberty, and the family, FRC promotes the Judeo-Christian worldview as the basis for a just, free, and stable society.


Expecting an organization whose mission is the promotion of myths and mysticism to properly conduct a scientific survey, science that they openly oppose and despise for having contradicted their mysticism, is like expecting an atheist to make a good church deacon.

This is the deception you cultist always put forth. Faux "science" made up like stories of mythical multiplying loaves of bread and virgin births. You who in recent posts celebrated the destruciton of science desks destroyed to make religious idols are now going to offer the false pretense of a scientific study conducted by religious folk? You are indeed delusional as well as an attention whore.

Posted by: Evil Atheist on December 17, 2008 10:31 PM
190. "The American Adventure Series"
American Adventure is a Christian US history paperback series by Barbour Publishing Co. for ages 8-12 and up. The series is an excellent introduction to American history.

Does the series mention the Crusades, Inquisition or forced conversion to christianity by violent force?

Born Again Christians Just As Likely to Divorce As Are Non-Christians

" A new study released by The Barna Group, of Ventura, California, shows that the likelihood of married adults getting divorced is identical among born again Christians and those who are not born again. "

Posted by: Evil Atheist on December 17, 2008 10:45 PM
191. Remeber now that the Barna Group that did the study has this as their mission:

"What is The Barna Group, Ltd.?

The Barna Group provides primary research (through The Barna Research Group); printed resources (through BarnaBooks, an imprint of Tyndale); leadership development; spiritual training; and church facilitation and enhancement. We seek to use our strengths in partnership with Christian ministries and individuals to be a catalyst in moral and spiritual transformation in the United States. We accomplish these outcomes by providing vision, information, strategy, evaluation and resources. "


So one cannot accuse them of an atheist bias.

Posted by: Evil Atheist on December 17, 2008 10:48 PM
192. The more "Christian" a place is, the greater the social ills and crime of the area. That's the primary conclusion of an exhaustive scientific study done by Gregory S. Paul and published in the scholarly online journal, Journal of Religion and Science of the Creighton university of Omaha, Nebraska, a Jesuit school.

The study showed that the most "Christian' parts of the United States, the South and Midwest, have the highest rates of social ills and crime including murder, sexually transmitted diseases, mortality and so forth. The study also showed that the United States as a whole has far higher rates of crime and social ills than the rest of the developed world including all of Europe. The US is much more "Christian" than civilized nations.

There is no escaping the reality that Christian dogma goes hand-in-glove with a sick society. Religious fanatics and extremist are worse social dangers than drugs.

Most rational persons recognize that Christian mythology is farcicaly pathetic and that the Christians, especially the "evangelicals" or fundamentalists, are hypocrites who use religion as a weapon to demean others. Doctor Paul's study is one of the first to quantify the real social effects of Christian doctrine. It may be that religious zealots of all cults, not just Christian, produce a similar effect of social evil. Certainly the Catholic church spent centuries oppressing its subjects into poverty and misery. The Muslim dogma has the same appeal: violence, revenge, exclusion and oppression. One is constrained to wonder why sane persons would invent such mythologies. Religion should not go hand-in-hand with cruelty the way it does in America.

Posted by: Evil Atheist on December 17, 2008 11:19 PM
193. Societies worse off 'when they have God on their side

RELIGIOUS belief can cause damage to a society, contributing towards high murder rates, abortion, sexual promiscuity and suicide, according to research published today.

According to the study, belief in and worship of God are not only unnecessary for a healthy society but may actually contribute to social problems.

The study counters the view of believers that religion is necessary to provide the moral and ethical foundations of a healthy society.

It compares the social peformance of relatively secular countries, such as Britain, with the US, where the majority believes in a creator rather than the theory of evolution. Many conservative evangelicals in the US consider Darwinism to be a social evil, believing that it inspires atheism and amorality.

Many liberal Christians and believers of other faiths hold that religious belief is socially beneficial, believing that it helps to lower rates of violent crime, murder, suicide, sexual promiscuity and abortion. The benefits of religious belief to a society have been described as its "spiritual capital". But the study claims that the devotion of many in the US may actually contribute to its ills.


Posted by: Evil Atheist on December 17, 2008 11:30 PM
194. "The atheists' delusion"

What was that you were saying about mindless argumentum ad hominem?

It was a TITLE, decided upon by the AUTHOR, you moron.

You MORON... now there's an ad hominum made FOR and delivered specifically TO YOU.

What you left out was that the "research" was done by the Family Research Council, a religious organization whose aim is to promote religion.

AGAIN, a refusal to READ and a complete lack of comprehension.

Do you even understand the distinction between those reporting (and celebrating) the study and those who DID the damned thing?

Evidently not.

Dr. Nicholas Zill, the founding president of Child Trends, and Dr. Philip Fletcher, a research psychologist at Westat, co-authored the new study, which analyzes data from the National Survey of Children's Health.

NICHOLAS ZILL, Ph.D.
Dr. Nicholas Zill is a Washington-based psychologist and expert on trends in child development and family functioning. Until his recent retirement, he was a Vice President and Study Area Director at the social science research corporation, Westat. He has helped to design, analyze, and report on large-scale studies of children and families for more than thirty years. Among these was the Head Start National Reporting System (NRS), designed for the Administration of Children and Families (ACF) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This involved designing and field testing one-on-one child assessments and developing a computer-based reporting system, and supporting the nationwide implementation of the system, which included large-scale training of local program staff, compiling data from local assessments of more than 400,000 4- and 5-year-old children, data analysis, and preparation of program-level reports for more than 1,800 Head Start grantees. Dr. Zill has also been project director of three rounds of the Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES), a series of longitudinal studies conducted for the ACF involving parent interviews, child assessments, teacher interviews, and classroom observations of national probability samples of programs, families, and children. Dr. Zill has been a senior technical adviser and lead analyst for the National Head Start Impact Study, a random-assignment evaluation study of Head Start.
Other large-scale studies of children which Dr. Zill helped to design and analyze are the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study of a Birth Cohort (ECLS-B), the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study of a Kindergarten Cohort (ECLS-K), and the school readiness component of the National Household Education Survey for the National Center for Education Statistics; the Child Health Supplement to the 1981 and 1988 National Health Interview Surveys for the National Center for Health Statistics; the Mother and Child Supplements to the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) for the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; and the National Survey of Children for the Foundation for Child Development and the National Institute of Mental Health.
Dr. Zill is the author or co-author of a number of widely cited journal articles and book chapters on the health status and school readiness of American children, adolescent time use, and the development and well-being of children from divorced families, stepfamilies, adoptive families, and welfare families. He has given invited expert testimony on these topics before several committees of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. He was a participant in the 2001 White House Summit on Early Childhood Cognitive Development. He helped the Select Committee on Children, Youth, and Families of the U.S. House of Representatives to design and produce three editions of the Committee's report, U.S. children and their families: Current conditions and recent trends. He was a member of the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics, an advisory committee to the National Center for Health Statistics, and is a past president of the Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics (COPAFS). He was a member of the Technical Planning Group on School Readiness for the National Education Goals Panel, and developed a child health index that the Goals Panel reported annually for each state and the nation as a whole.
Before coming to Westat, Dr. Zill was the founder and for 13 years the Executive Director of Child Trends, a non-profit research organization that is known for its work on childhood social indicators and teen childbearing. Dr. Zill received his Ph.D. in psychology from Johns Hopkins University and his B.A. (magna cum laude) from Columbia University.
PHILIP R. FLETCHER, Ph.D.
Dr. Fletcher is a Senior Statistician at Westat, a social science research firm in the Washington, DC area. He received a Master's Degree in Latin American Studies and a Ph.D. in Comparative and International Development Education from Stanford University. As a United Nations expert and consultant to the Ministry of Education in Brazil, he developed mathematical models of the Brazilian education system and helped design the national educational assessment. He also taught courses in testing and measurement methods at several Brazilian universities. At Westat, he has conducted psychometric analyses and helped to design adaptive assessments of early language, literacy and math skills for young children that were used in national longitudinal studies for the U.S. Department of Education and the Head Start program, as well as in smaller-scale evaluation studies.

Next time, try to READ and comprehend rather than just scanning to pick what suits your narrow narrative.

identical among born again Christians and those who are not born again.

Newsflash nitwit: not all Christians/people of faith are "born again". Catholics certainly are NOT, neither are Jews, Mormons or Muslims and I would venture to say only a very few specific evangelical faiths are. How many? I have no clue nor do I care. Use your Barna Group to further embarass yourself:

"There are approximately 101 million born again Christians" (2006).

US Population, 2006 estimate 299,398,484
81.5% are people of FAITH (not just Christian for the non-thinking amongst us) = 244,009,764... your "born again" Christians make up only 41.3% of that.

Gee color, me unimpressed by your misuse of statistics you thought were convenient to your very wrong narrative.

Keep trying.

(I'll keep smacking you down.)

Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on December 17, 2008 11:59 PM
195. re 194... you clearly didn't READ it... you never do.. you Google, find a bite to scan and post.

Hint, it's mostly about belief in Darwinsim, the DECLINE of societies that do and

Theists often assert that popular belief in a creator is instrumental towards providing the moral, ethical and otherfoundations necessary for a healthy, cohesive society. Many also contend that widespread acceptance of evolution, and/or denial of a creator, is contrary to these goals. But a cross-national study verifying these claims has yet to be published. That radically differing worldviews can have measurable impact upon societal conditions is plausible according to a number of mainstream researchers

OOPS on you...again.

Keep trying.

Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on December 18, 2008 12:13 AM
196. "AGAIN, a refusal to READ and a complete lack of comprehension."

Apparently you didn't actually read the study, you just mindlessly repeated the talking points given you by the Family Reasearch Council.


From the study:

"Grade repetition, school contacts, and parental concern about child
achievement are more strongly linked to a lack of an intact two-parent family than
to a lack of religious participation."
PAGE 2


So if you want to argue about a two parent family being good for the outcome of the child, you'll get no argument from me. But then you might want to tell your fellow christians to stop divorcing so much.


Keep coming up more stuff Rags, I'll keep slapping you down.


Posted by: Evil Atheist on December 18, 2008 12:35 AM
197. RE: 196

Clearly you didn't read the study or you cannot COMPREHEND.


"Hint, it's mostly about belief in Darwinsim, the DECLINE of societies that do and"

Ummm no it's not. Your snarky mischaracterization is unimpressive and makes you look like an ignorant child.


From the study:

"Agreement with the hypothesis that belief in a creator is beneficial to societies is largely based on assumption, anecdotal accounts, and on studies of limited scope and quality restricted to one population (Benson et al.; Hummer et al.; Idler and Kasl; Stark and Bainbridge)."


"In general, higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy, and abortion in the prosperous democracies (Figures 1-9). The most theistic prosperous democracy, the U.S., is exceptional, but not in the manner Franklin predicted. The United States is almost always the most dysfunctional of the developed democracies, sometimes spectacularly so, and almost always scores poorly. The view of the U.S. as a "shining city on the hill" to the rest of the world is falsified when it comes to basic measures of societal health. Youth suicide is an exception to the general trend because there is not a significant relationship between it and religious or secular factors. No democracy is known to have combined strong religiosity and popular denial of evolution with high rates of societal health. Higher rates of non-theism and acceptance of human evolution usually correlate with lower rates of dysfunction, and the least theistic nations are usually the least dysfunctional. None of the strongly secularized, pro-evolution democracies is experiencing high levels of measurable dysfunction. In some cases the highly religious U.S. is an outlier in terms of societal dysfunction from less theistic but otherwise socially comparable secular developed democracies. In other cases, the correlations are strongly graded, sometimes outstandingly so."


"If the data showed that the U.S. enjoyed higher rates of societal health than the more secular, pro-evolution democracies, then the opinion that popular belief in a creator is strongly beneficial to national cultures would be supported. Although they are by no means utopias, the populations of secular democracies are clearly able to govern themselves and maintain societal cohesion. Indeed, the data examined in this study demonstrates that only the more secular, pro-evolution democracies have, for the first time in history, come closest to achieving practical "cultures of life" that feature low rates of lethal crime, juvenile-adult mortality, sex related dysfunction, and even abortion. The least theistic secular developed democracies such as Japan, France, and Scandinavia have been most successful in these regards. The non-religious, pro-evolution democracies contradict the dictum that a society cannot enjoy good conditions unless most citizens ardently believe in a moral creator. The widely held fear that a Godless citizenry must experience societal disaster is therefore refuted. Contradicting these conclusions requires demonstrating a positive link between theism and societal conditions in the first world with a similarly large body of data - a doubtful possibility in view of the observable trends."


Keep on trying. I'll keep smacking you down.

Posted by: Evil Atheist on December 18, 2008 12:53 AM
198. It seems your boy Gregory Paul (you know, they guyt the Times didn't mention by name till the NINTH paragraph) is a bit of a joke:

"The results were published in The Journal of Religion and Society, in September 2005. And his verdict is that godly societies are worse off."

Although The Times calls him "a social scientist", his primary qualification is as a paleontologist. He knows lots about theropod dinosaurs. He may know about evolution, and is clearly fed up with "intelligent design", but what does he know about social science and human population statistics? There have been many cases of scientists getting things spectacularly wrong outside of their area of expertise.

GALLUP ORGANIZATION REFUTES STORY SAYING "SOCIETIES WORSE OFF 'WHEN THEY HAVE GOD ON THEIR SIDE'"
"It is important to challenge Paul's assertion forthrightly, because the casual, non-research minded reader, might easily accept his conclusion as entirely plausible on the face of it," writes Gallup.

"Gregory Paul's conclusion is based on a flawed analysis according to my research associate, D Michael Lindsay, an expert in the department of sociology at Princeton University. After carefully examining Paul's international study, Mr. Lindsay maintains that it does not pass scholarly muster."
Study: Religion is Good for Kids
John Bartkowski, a Mississippi State University sociologist and his colleagues asked the parents and teachers of more than 16,000 kids, most of them first-graders, to rate how much self control they believed the kids had, how often they exhibited poor or unhappy behavior and how well they respected and worked with their peers.
The researchers compared these scores to how frequently the children's parents said they attended worship services, talked about religion with their child and argued abut religion in the home.

Penn Study: Religion Missing in Lives of 'Privileged' Adolescents Who Fail to Live Up to Expectations

Recent research has pointed to the beneficial effects of religion among at-risk populations, and now a study from the University of Pennsylvania shows that religion has equally positive effects on "advantaged" youth not typically viewed as being at-risk.

Center for the Scientific Study of Religion

Though he has come across negative influences of religion on behavior, Regnerus says it is less typical in his research.

"Generally speaking, 80 to 85 percent of the time it's a positive effect," he said. "Sometimes we have a null effect, and about 5 to 10 percent of the time it can be detrimental--but that is less typical."
Some of the studies have found that the negative behavior is not necessarily from religion itself, but from the differing views of religion, particularly in family relationships.
Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on December 18, 2008 12:59 AM
199.
"It seems your boy Gregory Paul (you know, they guyt the Times didn't mention by name till the NINTH paragraph) is a bit of a joke:"

Argumentum ad hominem


"Study: Religion is Good for Kids"

Cum hoc ergo propter hoc


Center for the Scientific Study of Religion

Though he has come across negative influences of religion on behavior, Regnerus says it is less typical in his research.

Once AGAIN you cherry pick snippets to micharacterize the work to suit your own fairy tale narrative.

Here is what you left out:

Not all of the research results show a positive influence by religion. Ellison pointed out that negative effects can include feelings of divine abandonment, anger at God in times of adversity and crises of faith.


Keep trying cultist.

Posted by: Evil Atheist on December 18, 2008 02:02 AM
200. Study: Prayer didn't help sick

"Praying for a sick heart patient may feel right to people of faith, but it doesn't appear to improve the patient's health, according to a new study that is the largest ever done on the healing powers of prayer.

Indeed, researchers at the Harvard Medical School and five other U.S. medical centers found, to their bewilderment, that coronary-bypass patients who knew strangers were praying for them fared significantly worse than people who got no prayers. The team speculated that telling patients about the prayers may have caused "performance anxiety," or perhaps a fear that doctors expected the worst."

Posted by: Evil Atheist on December 18, 2008 02:25 AM
201. You can argue about kids and marriage and society all you want, you can play tit for tat, take FACTS out of context and insult ... but it really doesn't matter:

YOU have no basis for comparison. By your own admission you have no personal knowledge of life with faith.

I do.

I know my parents were happily married and in love for 51 years before my mother died. I know I have been married happily married and in love for nearly 28 years. I know my children, my nephews, their friends, the children of my friends: all "emotionally" healthy, all successful, positive and happy: no drunks, no drugs, no piercings, no tattoos, no jail. I know my extended family: aunts, uncles, cousins, seconds cousins: not a divorce amongst them, not an unwed pregnancy amongst them. Are we different than you in any other social, education economic way? Have we had any significant social, economic or educational advantages? Probably not. But we are a family of faith.

That's all the proof I need.

I don't know where you find solace in times of pain or fear... frankly I don't care: it's your problem. But I do know where I find comfort and peace.

Secondly, the subject is not the viability of atheism vs religion.

The subject is the FACT of the atheist action regarding religion, especially at Christmas.

The FACT is the atheists know full well they can not shake faith with a mere insulting sign. And that one undeniable fact is what led them to insult for publicity instead. They got the attention they wanted ..and the pity they deserve.

Atheists' National Holiday?

... I am a patriot, and I believe that atheists are free to believe, speak and post whatever they want. This is America, and that's their First Amendment right. But to do so with harassment and hatred under the guise of free speech is despicable. An anti-religious poster filled with spite is in no way equal to a religious symbol, such as a Nativity scene. Where are the political correctness police when religious followers are the victims?

If such words were written against any social minority group, protests would be ubiquitous. But anti-religious bigotry is in vogue these days. Still, there is absolutely no justification for these atheists' written revile. ...
... Anyone can spew disdain for religion, but is that what America's Founders created our rights for? Just because they post such verbal vomit, does that demonstrate intellectual superiority or the type of moral decency our Founders hoped we would perpetuate?
... What profit would there be if I posted a taunt that atheists had no vital part in the founding of our country? ...
... What profit would there be if I posted a claim that atheists are un-American because they try to suppress theists' freedom of religion by the false notion of separation of church and state?
What profit would there be if I posted the accusation that atheists are imprudent because they exhaust too much time trying to convince everyone else of the absence of a being who doesn't exist?
What profit would there be if I posted a retort that atheists are igmos because they try to replace Christmas with winter solstice celebrations, which are ancient pagan festivals entrenched in polytheistic religions?
What profit would there be if I posted that atheism hides behind a false pretense that it is scientific when eminent scientist Paul Davies -- the renowned British-born physicist, agnostic and professor of cosmology, quantum field theory and astrobiology -- once spoke against the certainty of atheism to Time magazine (in the column "Science, God, and Man"): "Agnosticism -- reserving judgment about divine purpose -- remains as defensible as ever, but atheism -- the confident denial of divine purpose -- becomes trickier. If you admit that we can't peer behind a curtain, how can you be sure there's nothing there?"
What profit would there be if I posted that atheists are totally blind to the pristine beauty and ordered complexity of creation, so they cannot see the hand of a Creator? ...
What profit would there be if I posted the fact that atheists denigrate every religion and prayer that ever has been offered? To say God doesn't exist is to say every religious leader in every age was delusional at best. And it also is to say that not one prayer on any continent in any era of human history has been answered. That premise alone rules atheism preposterous and foolish. ...
... atheists shouldn't be fighting for a holiday in December when they already have a holiday: April Fools' Day (a holiday also grounded in sacred Scripture, "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no god'")?

***

"Since private and publick Vices, are in Reality, though not always apparently, so nearly connected, of how much Importance, how necessary is it, that the utmost Pains be taken by the Publick, to have the Principles of Virtue early inculcated on the Minds even of children, and the moral Sense kept alive, and that the wise institutions of our Ancestors for these great Purposes be encouraged by the Government. For no people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffusd and Virtue is preservd. On the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant, and debauchd in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without the Aid of foreign Invaders." -Samuel Adams, letter to James Warren, 4 November 1775

***

"Whatever you believe, we embrace you."

St. Jude's, the local gay church in Wilmington, NC, is one of those churches that makes me glad I'm not a 'liberal' Christian. Some years ago, they ran an advertisement that read "Whatever you believe, we embrace you."

When I saw that "whatever you believe" ad, I was tempted to go to St. Jude's one Sunday and tell them I thought the Holocaust was a good idea and that I liked cooking cats in a microwave oven. I just wanted to see whether they actually bought into moral relativism - a philosophy so vacuous.

Atheists' middle-finger salute

Of course, none of these flaps we hear about are really about holiday displays anyway. They are about the anti-religious seeking to promote a morally ambivalent, wholly secular society and a complicit establishment press that aids them in doing so, as well as fomenting discord between religious sects and denominations.

Ideals such as the Golden Rule and concepts of the sanctity of life, for example, are rooted in Judeo-Christian thought and are thoroughly ingrained in Westerners - but not so much in those of other cultures. Left to their own devices, all human beings are capable of some pretty heinous acts when answering only to themselves. The Nazis dispensed with a deity, and we all know the extent of barbarism to which they fell. Many of us are routinely appalled by the heartbreaking and wholesale lack of humanity displayed in certain underdeveloped nations when conflicts arise.
Anyone who does not believe that religion, particularly Christianity, and traditional values in America are under attack is kidding themselves. The war on Christmas, at which folks snicker up their sleeves and throw quotation marks around in print, is but a battle in the war that seeks to win Americans over to a self-seeking, unaccountable mindset and worldview in which they will be controlled by the State rather than guided by God's laws.

***

Say, a billion years ago there was a bucket. And in that bucket was hundreds of different, brilliant colors of paint. Fast forward about 150,000 years. Imagine someone throwing that bucket of paint onto a canvas, and out pops a picture of the painting in the Sistine chapel, in all it's intricacies, complexities and glory.

You'd say it is an absolute impossibility.

Extrapolate this to our existence. Do you really believe that we exist due to millions of years of random mishaps? Do you not think us to be more complex than a picture.

I believe that we were put here by something with intelligence, and an integerity, and a wish for our success.

To believe otherwise, is, well, an exercise in folly.

Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on December 18, 2008 12:57 PM
Post a comment
Name:


Email Address:


URL:


Comments:


Remember info?