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Just finished the book today, only one shortcoming.
Posted: 30 December 2004 07:26 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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My initial reaction upon reading the last words "how soon we realize this." and then closing the book was satisfaction. Having never been a church-goer, my parents preferred taking my brother and I to hockey Sunday mornings, I've been free to think as I please all of my life (I owe my parents alot for this). Being the only person in social settings that hadn't been indoctrinated into a religion has at times been a problem: for the religious person. The rage and hatred religious people are capable of has always astonished me. I might ask that tolerance, apart from the religious intolerance that Sam discusses in his book, be extended to the realm of politics too. I am a straight white male, atheist, gay marriage approving, Republican. Not all Republicans are evangelical wing-nuts. Sam characterized the right as GWB and evangelicals/fundamentalists. I'd like to say, while many on the right are religious whack-os, not all are. As ethics can stand on it's own separated from religion, so too can a rational person be a Republican. Other than "a little political tolerance", Sam's book lacked nothing, IMO.

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Posted: 30 December 2004 04:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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I have no problem with the fact you are Republican, however you must see the catering and the agenda the Republican party now has.

As a woman, who is 40+ years old, I can not forget that the true liberation of women started when birth control became available.

Of all the planks of the Republican party, the relgion based ones bother me the most.

If they make the death penalty illegal the same time they try to make abortion illegal and accept teaching of human sexuality and make birth control easily avialable to teenagers, I might be okay with their platform, but in its current form of abstain and pay the consequences of your youth and ignorance and its okay to kill poor minorites who cant afford lawyers but not okay to kill a fetus with no brain stem formed yet, I just cant get on board with your moral agenda.

Nor can I appreciate the enviromental agenda of the Republican party anymore.

I am not happy with Republican tactics either.  The redistricting mess in Texas, the calling the police to have Democrats removed from congress, the “Marriage Admendment”?

well…

I am no Democrat either, I am just as much a free political thinker as I am a free philosophy thinker. 

If you wear the party tag, you accept the party line, so dont ask me for tolerance.

And since I live in Texas, I know a bit about things.
Here is the most appropriate quote I can think of to explain my view.

As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

H.L. Mencken (1880 - 1956)

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Posted: 31 December 2004 01:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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I do see a republican party that has taken on too many non-traditionally republican positions and it troubles me alot. The big article in the current National Review is titled “Caution GOP Crackup Ahead”. The Republican Party is in for trouble.

I want my republican party to stand for the core principles it was founded upon. Principles that were handed down from the founding fathers: and no one more than Thomas Jefferson. The Republican Lincoln’s emancipation of the slaves was the torch of the Democrat Jefferson being passed for the evolution of mankind.

I’m certain Kate Chopin and Republican Susan B Anthony would have been pleased that the women’s Liberation movement of the 1960’s rediscovered the feminist movement that began in the later half of the previous century: My favorite piece of feminist literature is her book “The Awakening”. But I think that they would both argue that the feminist movement and birth control are linked only because that moment in time was the beginning of the end for the social mores surrounding women’s sexuality. I can’t imagine either of them agreeing, or for that matter any scholarly feminist, agreeing that the women’s liberation movement was born out of birth control.

Republican, Democrat, Independent, we all agree that life has a value up to a point. What isn’t agreed upon is the point. I recognize the problem of unwanted pregnancy and agree that a woman ought to have the right to not bring a pregnancy to term. I do reserve a concern that abortion, the killing of a poor minority group, is a real social problem. Can you envision Stem Cell Banks? Women offering up their fetuses for cash? Wholesale harvesting of the unborn? Can medical science be tasked with coming up with an alternative to abortion? An alternative that satisfies the rights of both the pregnant woman and the unborn child?

Please forgive me if I ignore your concerns about redistricting Republicans, you see I live in Democrat Massachusetts: There is no political discourse in Massachusetts. Nor can I respond to the other “filler” items you tossed in.

Clearly I don’t accept the “party line”, it is obvious (I hope) that individual party members of any kind of organization often differ from the organization stated position or direction (i.e.: National Hockey League). Reaching common ground is what I am seeking with Republican, Democrats, and Independents. As a Republican the political tolerance I’ve asked for was not tolerance for things you hate, rather for the things we can share. Maybe then the party can be more of what I want it to be, and maybe it may be more appealing to you as well.

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Posted: 31 December 2004 08:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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[quote author=“norman_miller”]Reaching common ground is what I am seeking with Republican, Democrats, and Independents.

One of the simplest ways to control a population is by dividing that population into idealogical camps. Are you a Republican or a Democrat ? What do Democrats believe? What do Republicans believe? Democrats are for the people. Republicans are for big business. Democrats are for abortion and Republicans are against. Democrats are for minority rights and Republicans are against.

Are all Republicans capitalists ? Are all Democrats socialists? Why have they brought up ideological issues that have to do with social control which is not the responsibility of the government according to George Washington and Thomas Jefferson? How have they been able to so neatly divide the coutry into idealogical camps?

Should either group legislate morality ? Do we want to return to a time when the government told us what religion we were to adher to and which idol we were to worship? Have they already succeeded by successfully turning popular culture to the worship of the celebrity, idol worship?

I have labored under the illusion that in a free society the individual makes the choice and is not forced by government to live a certain way. In a free society if you fall for the political rhetoric of those in power you have fallen under the control of those who will stand up and ask for the resources to carry out their grandiose social plans.

The simple truth is that both parties are of and under the control of American aristocracy. They truly are just playing at ideological differences to divert the public’s attention from the reality of their greed and unjust deeds.

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Posted: 31 December 2004 08:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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So right you are, Lawrence.  Fearful people are manipulated by the divisive rhetoric of the power-brokers at the top of the pyramid.  Nothing has changed in thousands of years…I’m not too optimistic of any change in the future.  Maybe once Jesus comes back, though…(for the uninitiated, this is sarcasm)

But back to the divisions of political parties; the following is evidence of that division.  I posted this in my blog, but thought it worth sharing here.


From Greg Mitchell’s column, I learn that on the Thursday before Christmas, Al Neuharth, who served his country in World War II as an infantryman in France, Germany and the Phillippines, won a Bronze Star and later became founder of USA Today, suggested in his weekly column for that newspaper that the U.S. should start bringing home our troops from Iraq “sooner rather than later.”

This is the response coming from our right-wing brothers in America:

George Wyman: “Mr. Neuharth is simply UnAmerican.”

Jeffrey A. Norris: “Cowards and traitors like Al Neuharth want all the comforts they know and enjoy, without a sacrifice to buy it.”

Frank Butash, West Hartford, CT.: “Apparently it’s easier to run with jackals than to stand up for your country when it needs support.”

Kenneth Genest: “They had two of these in World War 2. One was called Tokyo Rose and the other Axis Sally. Their job was to discourage the American soldiers. I see they have one now at USA Today.”

Dan Clawson, Fresno,m CA.: “A disgrace to the men and women who serve. USA Today supporting the terrorist cause.”

Jerry Martin, San Francisco, CA.: “Yet another self-defeating fool with a large bank account shoots himself in the foot. Their dissent equals treason. The terrorists got him just like all the other rich liberals who side against our victory. They forget that wars end, and then the country takes stock of who was where. I encourage the fool to keep mouthing against our victory over the Muslim jihad, he’ll pay the social price in the end.”

T. Conway: “Mr. Neuharth has made a serious business mistake. Watch the circulation drop over the next year. The Los Angeles Times experienced the same drop after they attacked Gov. Schwarzenegger…some never learn. P.S. What side did Mr. Neuharth fight for in WW II?”

Peter Kessler: “And as for the good war, WW II, the lefties were four-square for that one. Yes sir, they were saving the USSR, Stalin and Communism. It’s sad we didn’t join Hitler until he wiped out the USSR. Alger Hiss and the Uptown Daily Worker (The New York Times) be damned. I see you’ve joined the club. Well, you’re probably a founding member.”

Joe McBride, Fort Dodge, Iowa: “Mr. Neuharth, thanks to you and your ignorance the terrorists are probably booking their flights to the U.S. now! If we pull out of Iraq with the job unfinished the terrorists will be bombing McDonalds, and blowing up malls and schools here, killing our innocent men, women and children.”

Craig Wood, Waianae, Hawaii: “Today’s press undermines our troops and supports our enemies. They convince parents that supporting your President is dangerous. They concentrate their ire on any fight that involves the United States and ignore all others. Like the sex scandal in the Congo with United Nations forces…. But, let some Army private put panties on an Iraqi’s head and all hell brakes loose.”

Duggan Flanakin, Austin, Texas: “Neuharth should be tried for treason along with a lot of other blowhards who should be spending their energies condemning the barbarism of our enemies, the same people who destroyed the Twin Towers.“

Boots Harvey, Brentwood, CA: “One must recall that Churchill had to put up with the likes of Lord Haw-Haw, William Joyce, and his propaganda during WWII. In the end William Joyce was executed for giving aid and comfort to the enemy during war time. Would that the same fate befall Al Neuharth!”

Mel Gibbs: “The Patriot Act will put both of you (Neuharth and Mitchell) on trial for treason and convict and execute both of you as traitors for running these stories in a time of war and it should be done on TV for other communist traitors like you two to know we mean business. This is war and you should be put in prison NOW for talking like this. Who the hell do you people think you are? You give aid and comfort to our enemies and aid them in murdering our proud soldiers. You people are a disgrace to America. Your families should be put in prison with you, then be made to leave and move to the Middle East ...This is a great Christian nation and god wants us to lead the world out of darkness with great leaders like President George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Communists like Al and Greg will soon be in prison and on death row for your ugly papers. We won the election and now you are mad. We own America and all the rights, you people are trash, go back to Russia and Africa and take your friends with before we put you on death row after a fair trial.”

For more of my fabulous, pithy and oh-so intelligent insights, go here .

[ Edited: 02 January 2005 03:08 PM by ]
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Posted: 31 December 2004 09:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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These individuals make their livings as part of what I call the ‘yacking’ class. It is in their best interests to create emotions that galvinize individuals to action. But they better watch out!

Dick cheney stated “Democracies do not produce terrorists”

He has a very short memory because apparently he has forgotten about Timothy McViegh, Ted Kazinski? (Unabomber) and John Mohhamed (Sniper).

These individuals are obviously blinded by the fact that if you incite hate and violence then (quess what! ) hate and violence will grow.

If any of these individuals realized that the plush homes behind the gates would be the first ones to be pillaged in the event of a violent breakdown of social order they might reconsider their words as their wives and children will be as ruthlessly raped and murdered with no consideration of their pollitical philosophy.

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Posted: 31 December 2004 09:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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Lawrence wrote:

These individuals are obviously blinded by the fact that if you incite hate and violence then (quess what! ) hate and violence will grow.

That sound very much like the biblical tenet “You reap what you sow.”

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Posted: 31 December 2004 09:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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[quote author=“child”]Lawrence wrote:

These individuals are obviously blinded by the fact that if you incite hate and violence then (quess what! ) hate and violence will grow.

That sound very much like the biblical tenet “You reap what you sow.”

Which is obviously true to any individual with a few years under their belt.

And this is the good part of religion that needs to be emphasized as to the bad parts which calls for destruction of non believers

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Posted: 31 December 2004 09:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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Who is to say what the good and bad parts are?  This is begging the question.  If it were obvious, then there would be no denominational squabbles, there would be no need for this forum,  Sam’s book, and the struggle against fundamentalism; it would all be self-evident.  It is a matter of interpretation.

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Posted: 31 December 2004 10:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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[quote author=“child”]Who is to say what the good and bad parts are?  This is begging the question.  If it were obvious, then there would be no denominational squabbles, there would be no need for this forum,  Sam’s book, and the struggle against fundamentalism; it would all be self-evident.  It is a matter of interpretation.

My suggection would be that those parts that stand up to rational critical thinking are of value and those parts that do not are of no value.

These truths appear in many places in the religions of the world.

Perhaps, as I have mentally done, each tenet needs to be examined for possible rational value and those that do not stand up need to be rejected.

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Posted: 31 December 2004 11:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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Mr Miller, I can not in good conscience join a party with the planks the Republican party has.

Individual liberty > federal government > states rights

Conservative spending > massive government deficits

Conservation and enviromental protection > business profits

Individual rights > Corporate rights

Freedom from religion > morality based laws

Gun Control > no guns at all

Foreign policy and leadership position in the world > isolationism and kicking out the UN

Respect for life > institutionalized violence   if abortion goes so does the death penalty, you cant have it both ways IMO

so, I guess on most of these, I agree with the Democrats, but more importantly, I will vote Democratic now just because the Republicans unholy marriage with the Religious Right to gain votes and power scares the shit out of me.

As for there being no difference, sadly I mostly agree with that, but at least the Democrats are sold down a slightly different path than the Republicans. 

I have no tolerance for republicans anymore, and they are clearly the agents of the devil being led by the anti-christ !!

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Posted: 31 December 2004 12:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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[quote author=“Iisbliss”]
I have no tolerance for republicans anymore, and they are clearly the agents of the devil being led by the anti-christ !!

Sure, just like all women are bad drivers and anyone with a Southern accent is a redneck.

[ Edited: 31 December 2004 12:59 PM by ]
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Posted: 31 December 2004 12:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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[quote author=“lawrence”][quote author=“child”]Lawrence wrote:

These individuals are obviously blinded by the fact that if you incite hate and violence then (quess what! ) hate and violence will grow.

That sound very much like the biblical tenet “You reap what you sow.”

Which is obviously true to any individual with a few years under their belt.

And this is the good part of religion that needs to be emphasized as to the bad parts which calls for destruction of non believers

Lawrence…reap what you sow…wouldn’t you rather believe that you get what you want?  You get what you are willing to earn for yourself. 

You say that there are good and bad parts of religious doctrine that should be weighed…isn’t that what religion is…the weighing, the slicing, and the doling out of what is “thought” to be “good” of the chosen text (Bible)?  Try a Sunday sermon on you local religious station…I am sure the person delivering the message has found a noteworthy passage, AND I am sure he or she will be able to rationalize its importance to a few hundred, maybe thousand, people.

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Posted: 31 December 2004 05:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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there is alot of human wisdom in the bible, reaping what you sow seems pretty self evident to me even considering the source


Passion I am a southern woman driver with an accent…be afraid !!

Howdy ya’ll = )

PS. sense of humor too smile

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Posted: 02 January 2005 07:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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[quote author=“passion”][quote author=“lawrence”][quote author=“child”]Lawrence wrote:

These individuals are obviously blinded by the fact that if you incite hate and violence then (quess what! ) hate and violence will grow.

That sound very much like the biblical tenet “You reap what you sow.”

Which is obviously true to any individual with a few years under their belt.

And this is the good part of religion that needs to be emphasized as to the bad parts which calls for destruction of non believers

Lawrence…reap what you sow…wouldn’t you rather believe that you get what you want?  You get what you are willing to earn for yourself. 

You say that there are good and bad parts of religious doctrine that should be weighed…isn’t that what religion is…the weighing, the slicing, and the doling out of what is “thought” to be “good” of the chosen text (Bible)?  Try a Sunday sermon on you local religious station…I am sure the person delivering the message has found a noteworthy passage, AND I am sure he or she will be able to rationalize its importance to a few hundred, maybe thousand, people.

Well naturally I would rather get what I want. Honest men no longer get what they are willing to work for. Liars get what they are willing to work for -George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Gary Winneke, Kenneth Lay, Martha Stewart, etc, etc, etc.

If you are fundamnetalist there is no slicing as all text is taken literally. Fundamentalists work the Bible over in a very similar manner that Bill Clinton worked over the meaning of the word is. (Personally I never much cared for Clinton nor listened to him until they tried to skewer him. )

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Posted: 04 January 2005 03:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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I am truly amazed at the digression from the subject of my original post: where I was slightly critical of the book for it’s minor lacking in political tolerance.

If I might ask all that participated in replying to read all of the posts, review your contribution, and ask yourself this question: Is this really what you wanted to write?

I mean, relative to my original post. I just figured that readers of Sam’s book might be a lot less harsh, more open to dialogue, perhaps a little more pleasant.

I really didn’t think this was a place for a my-side-is-better-than-their-side rantfest.

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