‘Christian Land Governed by Christian Principles’

by

Even before the Texas State Board of Education took up its expected debate today over what students will learn about separation about church and state in their social studies classrooms, board member Cynthia Dunbar, R-Richmond, made her position clear. She offered the board’s opening prayer this morning and removed any doubt about what she and other far-right board members want students to learn: America’s laws and government should be based on the Christian Bible.

Laying out in blunt language the “Christian nation” vision of American history that the board’s powerful bloc of social conservatives espouses, Dunbar threw down the gauntlet:

“I believe no one can read the history of our country without realizing that the Good Book and the spirit of the savior have from the beginning been our guiding geniuses.”

“Whether we look to the first charter of Virginia, or the charter of New England…the same objective is present — a Christian land governed by Christian principles.”

“I like to believe we are living today in the spirit of the Christian religion. I like also to believe that as long as we do so, no great harm can come to our country.”

You will recall that Dunbar, in her 2008 book, One Nation Under God, argued that the Founders created “an emphatically Christian government” (page 18 of her book) and that government should be guided by a “biblical litmus test” (page 47). Even more damning, this State Board of Education member wrote that public education is a “subtly deceptive tool of perversion,” tyrannical and unconstitutional.

And today she will help decide what the next generation of Texas students will learn about separation of church and state in their public school classrooms.

UPDATE: This isn’t the first time Dunbar has used prayer and religion to push an agenda.

167 Responses to “‘Christian Land Governed by Christian Principles’”

  1. David Says:

    Sieg heil

  2. Travis Says:

    not sure why we have opening prayers at public meetings..

  3. Tony Whitson Says:

    The usual defense for the constitutionality of an invocation at the beginning of public meanings is that it’s not really state-supported prayer, but instead it’s really a matter of bringing the group together around their common purpose.

    If that’s a valid defense of such invocations, it would not validate what Dunbar did.

  4. Ed Says:

    were there opening prayers at previous meetings? This would have been very offensive to non-Christian citizens who were in attendance.

  5. David Says:

    She’s probably hoping that she will elicit a legal challenge from somebody and thereby generate publicity, and make a martyr out of herself, and rally every knee jerk evangelical in the country “to her defense”.
    And of course, she would lose in court, which would heighten the religious right’s paranoia about being persecuted because they can’t force their religion on everybody else.

  6. chascates Says:

    @ Ed Says: I think being offensive to non-Christians is one of her points. They allow no dissent, no other opinions, only blind obedience. If you don’t remain silent and bow your head you’re obviously evil. And even if you do you could be suspect!

  7. Paen Says:

    Actualy America is Indian with Christian squaters.

  8. DC Hart Says:

    As a Jew, I found this prayer highly offensive. I wonder if this woman is lost. She sounds more like an Iranian Mullah than anything American. It is disgraceful that a dominionist would willingly dumb down our school kids in pursuit of her right wing agenda.

  9. Forkboy1965 Says:

    Good luck with this Texas. Maybe it’s time for the rest of this nation to return you to Mexico and let the rest of us get on with the business of educating our children instead of preaching to them.

  10. Maggie Says:

    I feel sick as I follow this blog- not simply by the unfolding events but also by the knowledge that these people were ELECTED into these positions. How did we let it get to this?

  11. Gordon Fowkes Says:

    It might help a little is the alleged “Christian Principles” were spelled out and connected with the corresponding aspects of the Constitution, our laws, and of legal precedent.

    The fact that Christianity plays a huge part in the history of the United States does not require the Bible except for relevant citations in historical contect.

    Of considerable historical importance is the influence of the WCTU (Women’s Christian Temperence Union) and Prohibition and the Prohibition’s impact on the creation and funding of organized crime. Likewise the effects of Prohibition on it’s replacement, the War on Drugs.

  12. ExpatFromHell Says:

    “I like to believe we are living today in the spirit of the Christian religion. I like also to believe that as long as we do so, no great harm can come to our country.”

    What country? The one we stole from the Native Americans? The Mexicans? How about the one you are stealing from those of us who would like to be FREE FROM RELIGION? Thomas Jefferson is turning over in his grave.

  13. W Rubink Says:

    There should be no invocational prayer of any sort in pubic meetings unless all agree. Would the board like to hear this as the invocation (It is more rational):

    http://www.youtube.com/v/aAYVY2eLMck&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0&hd=1&border=1” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowscriptaccess=”always” allowfullscreen=”true” width=”1300″ height=”765″>

  14. Steven Schafersman Says:

    I wrote this in my Texas Observer blog:

    The invocation was read by Cynthia Dunbar, who gave an incredibly discriminatory and exclusionary defense of Christian America, explicitly saying that the country was founded on Christian and Biblical principles and that we are “a Christian land governed by Christian principles.” She closed by invoking “our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.” Invocations like this at the beginning of state agency meetings by public officials are, in my opinion, terribly bigoted in addition to being nonsense. By her remarks, Dunbar disenfranchised all in the audience who follow different faiths or no faith. How does she think Lawrence Allen felt listening to her invocation? Dunbar certainly felt nothing for him or she wouldn’t have given such an aggressive Christian invocation. Mr. Allen is a serious, dignified Board member who, unlike the radical religious right members, typically has informed comments and understands the responsibilities of his office to be considerate of Texans of all religious and philosophical beliefs. Not a Christian, Mr. Allen must have felt discriminated all over again (he is an African-American Moslem). The bigotry never ends in this state. Ms. Dunbar could have presented a traditional invocation that most monotheistic religionists could accept, invoking the God of Civil Religion that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson believed in, or even a secular invocation that doesn”t even exclude non-believers, who typically are excluded in invocations. But no–she desires to exclude everyone except Christians in her description of the founding and meaning of the United States. Dunbar represents the most intolerant, aggressive, and exclusionary type of Christian, one who thinks her beliefs are the only truth and everyone else is either a target for proselytization or going to Hell, so she can and does ignore them. She is an inconsiderate Christian Fundamentalist who has shown many times she wants to push her extreme religious and political values onto Texas school children using the power of her elected office, a despicable goal. Ms. Dunbar is an affront to society’s principles of fair treatment and common decency. TFN informs me that they have posted a video of Dunbar’s egregious invocation. Thanks, TFN, for allowing viewers to judge for themselves.

  15. Tony Whitson Says:

    I like to believe we are living today in the spirit of the Christian religion. I like also to believe that as long as we do so, no great harm can come to our country.

    Dunbar is “blessed” with the ability to believe what she likes to believe, instead of what the facts would warrant.

  16. Windjammer408 Says:

    My thoughts are with my good friends from Texas who have to put up with this stuff. Texans aren’t all bad 🙂

  17. fireweaver Says:

    Will Ms Dunbar start calling for a Christian form of Shari’a law? She sounds like someone who would find that appealing.

    She’s whack.

  18. Troubled in Texas Says:

    Maybe you should spend less time reading these comments and blog sites and read more historical documents. Read the personal documents of Columbus, Hernando de Soto, Jamestown documents, the first charter of Virginia, journals of the pilgrims prior to and after landing in “the New World,” John Smith, Washington, Jefferson, Adams, the Supreme Court’s “Trinity decision” of the late 1800’s. Maybe you will see that the board is trying to teach accurate history. Just because your left wing extremism is opposition to the ideology of our founders does not mean you get to change historical facts.
    Also, did you know that the “expert” panels helping to revise the curriculum listed KARL MARX as the only historical figure to be studied in economics. The board changed that to include proponents of free market economics. If you think that was a wrong move, then you may be in the wrong country. Try Greece and see how that suits you.

  19. lucky Says:

    That wasn’t a prayer. It was a speech, and those were fighting words unbecoming an elected office holder.

  20. Keanus Says:

    Dunbar, and the entire Christian Right, believes teaching, indoctrination and preaching are synonyms. For that reason they are doomed to a life time of ignorance, and, worse, blithely ignorant of their ignorance. It’s what gives them such zeal.

  21. Ben Says:

    Good thing they weren’t in a church, because:

    “As in all the congregations of the saints, 34women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. 35If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.”

  22. David Says:

    I can’t wait until they get into the specifics of this “Christian” law. Sooner or later the 7th Day Adventists will be at the throats of the Assembly of God, and the Church of Christ with be wrestling with the Baptists, etc.
    And then there’s the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    Then there’s that whole sticky thing about the multiple versions of the 10 Commandments, and multiple creation myths, etc.
    And did you know Abraham pimped Sarah around the Middle East?….

  23. David Says:

    I hear they insisted on deleting any reference to the Marx brothers.

  24. Rocket Mike Says:

    Message to TiT: If you will look at those Colonial documents again you will see that they allowed the hanging of Quakers, just for being Quakers, in Boston Common not to mention the attrocities in Salem. As an act of “tolerance” in Maryland, they allowed anyone that worshipped the Trinity to remain unmolested (to the relief of Catholics that were subject to death elsewhere), but if you were a Unitarian or Jew or … then you could be executed and all your possessions confiscated leaving your widow/er and children destitute. In Virginia, any sea captain who had the temerity to bring someone of any other religion than Anglican into the colony was to be hanged. Religious excesses such as these led the founders of our nation to repudiate any ties between religion and government. Otherwise, they could have easily copied the examples to which you refer and really made it clear that they meant to follow the murderous path of the Colonial Christians. Or is that what you want?

  25. SpaceEagle Says:

    Well, since God penned the Constitutions with his mighty finger and Jesus personally swore in the Texas legislature, it has to be right. Welcome to the Spanish Inquisition. NOOOoooobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.

  26. bgb808 Says:

    “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.” Harry Sinclair Lewis

  27. David Says:

    AMEN, brother.
    Hallelujah!!

  28. Thomas Says:

    Lewis was right. Dunbar is a subversive, traitorous threat to the national security of the United States as are all Christian domestic terrorists of her ilk.

  29. Siobhan Says:

    This woman can go to hell – and take the rest of her religious wingnut friends with her. I’ve already lived with this enough. I’ve seen first hand what it’s done to my relatives in Ireland. It was self righteous, fundamentalist protestants who came into the district my relatives lived in – in Belfast – and started going from house to house, burning out all the families – for no other reason than because they were catholic. My aunt and uncle’s house was burned the ground. The fires were so horrible – even though it was night – the sky was red and orange from the flames. My relatives were beaten by protestant mobs because they had the audacity to demand civil rights – because catholics in the north were treated the same way african americans were in this country during the 60’s. And when I was ten, one of my cousins Aidan, who was fifteen at the time, was shot right in front of me by members of a protestant extremist group – again, for no other reason than because he was catholic. I remember screaming. The only thing I could do was try and hold him. One of the shots took part of his head off. He bled out in my arms. I’d hazard to guess – this wench Cynthia Dunbar and her friends – have never lived through anything like this. But just hearing theirs words – they are the type to inflict it on others.

  30. Robster Says:

    How does this woman believe so strongly in a god that does absolutely nothing. Not a whimper. No answered prayers. No saving belivers from natural disasters. No feeding the poor. Saving young children from poverty, no nothing there either. The fact is, the christian and moslem versions of god simply do not work. The woman expects her constituents behave in a manner as silly as hers. How does she assume that all share her belief system? How dare she…

  31. RichP Says:

    We must look at this in the context of why USAn Texans rebelled against their national government: slavery was outlawed by Mexico, and that was intolerable to the freedom-hating Norte Americanos. The Alamo, of course, is a Texas shrine celebrating the slave past of Texas.

    We must understand which type of “Christians” Dunbar represents. It is not those who worship the god of Moses and the Covenant, and also follow the teachings of Jesus. Rather, it is those who reject the Covenant and Moses’ god Yaweh, but rather worship El, a god of war and conquest, which the Roman “Christians” did after Constantine’s corruption of the Christians in the 4th Cen. CE. (El’s more common name is the anti-Christ, Satan.)

  32. Alfred Stanley Says:

    Cynthia Dunbar must have been chuckling to herself as she laid plans for offering this “prayer.” Between the opening lines (“Heavenly Father … As we look to our past to guide us, let us reflect on the convictions of those who have gone before us.”) and a particularly non-inclusive closing (“All this I pray in the name of MY lord and savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.”), she inserted an excerpt of a speech given by Chief Justice Earl Warren at the 1954 National Prayer Breakfast as quoted contemporaneously in Time magazine (http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,936197,00.html). Clever.

    An essential element of a prayer, though, is that the words be directed to God. Dunbar was obviously playing in large part to the media. Perhaps the media is Dunbar’s god? She also appears to have been provoking her critics, making this one of the oddest exercises in “prayer” I’ve ever witnessed. (Prayer as a form of one-upmanship?)

    Further, the words of the Chief Justice are rather subtle. With a tip of his hat to the founding of several of the colonies, he falls far short of asserting that America is a Christian nation as Dunbar and company assert. I would say Justice Warren was being rather careful not to. “I like to believe we are living today in the spirit of the Christian religion,” has about as much punch as José Feliciano’s “I wanna wish you a merry Christmas.” Warren’s speech is respectful of history, the sensibilities of the majority population at that time, and the limits and circumspection that a leader of our secular government should observe when it comes to discussing matters of faith.

    “Let us reflect on the convictions of those who have gone before us,” is a nice sentiment. If only Ms. Dunbar knew what it means to reflect on ideas instead of pummeling us with her personal beliefs.

  33. Debra McDaniel Says:

    If these fanatics get their way and Texas makes their changes to the school books, I seriously doubt that many Texas high school graduates will be able to get through the SAT’s. No college wants to accept new students who don’t even know the history (true history) of their own country. About the only schools who may accept them will be those bogus Christian schools like Liberty University. All you need to gain admittance there is a strong enough belief in God. I live in California and there is already legislation pending which would reject any school books for California schools that were re-written by Texas. I’m glad to know that California still has respect for the truth and real history of our country and our government. Texas doesn’t seem to mind turning out kids who believe that the earth is only 6000 yrs old, dinasaurs roamed the bible and God wrote our constitution just for Christians. I’m so glad I still live in a state where parents actually want their children to learn the truth. We don’t want our kids living in a little biggoted bubble, where only Christians get ahead and everyone and every other religion goes to Hell. That’s just so 13th century. I’ll bet next year all girls over the age of 10 will be fitted for chastity belts. I sure hope there are enough jobs pumping gas and flipping burgers in Texas to accommodate all the school kids in Texas since no one else would want to hire so many dummies.

  34. John Beene Says:

    Why aren’t these people being taken to court? They have been caught red-handed propoting and establishing a specific religion!

  35. WDRussell Says:

    Anybody ever stop to think that if Christians acted like Christians we wouldn’t have this problem

  36. Rabble Rouser Says:

    What? A Christian prayer…we can’t have that!! Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

    Travis…really? Well, study our nation’s history and you’ll find the answer…geez! You people are really something, slandering and disparaging people you know nothing about.

    By the way, Sharia has already reached our shores…there are pockets being carved out in America as ya’ll rail on about straw-men. You wanna see true religious oppression? Well, allow Kathy and her minions to distract you long enough and it’ll be on your doorstep soon enough.

    Have a blessed day.

  37. Michael Rivero Says:

    That include sexually molesting the little kiddies? Or are we just limited to burning the heretics at the stake?

  38. Tom Says:

    Ms. Dunbar is proof you can be a Christian AND a bimbo as well.

  39. Karen Green Says:

    I remember years ago when the idea of prayer at the opening of city council meetings was discussed here in Alameda, Ca.. A minister from a local church said “we do not recite the pledge of allegiance at the beginning of a service, so I wonder why we should open our meetings with a prayer.” We do not have prayers anymore.

  40. Nunuv Yerbiznezz Says:

    “Whether we look to the first charter of Virginia, or the charter of New England…the same objective is present — a Christian land governed by Christian principles.”

    Those Charters: ‘We are fleeing the tyrrany of England to come to a New World where we can establish a theocratic tyrrany to our own liking’.

    Christian principles: ‘Expel (or kill) the outsider’.

  41. Darren Says:

    You people are as paranoid as the extreme right-wingers. You’re just two sides of the same extremist coin.

  42. David Says:

    That so-called “Christian” prayer was a good example of “using the Lord’s name in vain.”

    Dear Mr. Rouser,
    We’ll leave Thomas Jefferson out of it this time. Here are some quotes from James Madison, “the Father of the Constitution:”

    “What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not.”
    – “A Memorial and Remonstrance”, 1785

    “Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise.”
    -letter to Wm. Bradford, April 1, 1774

    “Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise.”
    -letter to Wm. Bradford, April 1, 1774

    “The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries.”
    -1803 letter objecting use of gov. land for churches

    Courtesy of:
    http://freethought.mbdojo.com/foundingfathers.html

  43. David Says:

    That so-called “Christian” prayer was a good example of “using the Lord’s name in vain.”

    Dear Mr. Rouser,
    We’ll leave Thomas Jefferson out of it this time. Here are some quotes from James Madison, “the Father of the Constitution:”

    “What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not.”
    – “A Memorial and Remonstrance”, 1785

    “Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise.”
    -letter to Wm. Bradford, April 1, 17

    “The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries.”
    -1803 letter objecting use of gov. land for churches

    Courtesy of:
    http://freethought.mbdojo.com/foundingfathers.html

  44. Rocket Mike Says:

    Rabble Rouser. I don’t view Ms. Dunbar’s performance as a Christian prayer as much as I think it was a speech invoking her version of Christian Domination over others. People who follow Christ’s teachings don’t do that.

  45. David Says:

    Sorry about the double post.

    Darren, we’re not.
    We are not paranoid.
    We are not extremists.
    We’re concerned.
    We’re vexed.
    We’re p’o’-ed.
    We’re right.
    The Sinclair Lewis quote says it all.

  46. Spike Says:

    If that woman had read her Bible she would NOT be speaking in public. She should be at home making babies and serving as her husband’s slave. She should also NOT be praying out loud, in public. Those pompous asses pick and chose which parts of the Bible they agree with and will follow as they try to order everyone else around.

    I always love it when they rewrite history and make the founding fathers into fundamentalist Christians. Most of the founding fathers were deists and animists. They did mention “god” in their writings but it wasn’t the god that the right-wing crazies want to force on us.

    I am a recovering Baptist and will never darken the door of another church. American Christians are a bunch of right-wing goons that will accept nothing less than total submission to their beliefs. Their message has nothing to do with what Jesus taught. The rest of us had better worry.

  47. bugjackblue Says:

    It is amusing how people who, I presume, see themselves as well-intentioned “Christians” will post comments apologizing for the aggressive excesses of their fellow “Christians,” as if those excesses were aberrations of some sort.

    Christianity is and always has been about aggression and exploitation. It is the very purpose and essence of it, and all that nonsense about some “Jesus” character is just clever marketing/propaganda to get the gullible to eagerly buy into their own disenfranchisement. Evangelism is aggression, missionary conversion of “heathens” is aggression, inquisition is aggression, and holy war is most certainly aggression. That so many of the flock actually believe there has ever been any purpose other than aggression and exploitation in the spread of Christianity is testament to the effectiveness of the brainwashing techniques employed by the house propagandists.

    What we’re seeing in these stories about “Christians” becoming more militant in their aggression is the result of the unwillingness of all those otherwise well-intentioned enablers, those who see themelves as true “Christians” and who apologize for their brethren’s excesses. Well, get used to it. It’s the nature of the beast and though in good times we sometimes lose sight of what Christianity has really been up to for two thousand years, it ain’t never gonna change.

  48. P.R. Jr. Says:

    One is left to wonder whether she is really that savagely stupid, or whether she thinks Christian values include lying to get what you want.
    Here’s a very simple test of whether we’re a Christian/Bible based nation or not:
    How many of the Ten Commandments were enshrined in the law of the land?
    I doubt a Christian nation would declare that most Commandments are optional.

    Of course, any American who has bothered to read our Founding Father’s writings knows very well that this was most explicitly NOT designed as a Christian country, and they were quite specific about it. But, sadly, Americans who bother to learn about America are an exceedingly rare breed.

  49. D. L. Says:

    What we have here is Dominionist thinking, which is NOT exactly what Jesus Christ would want governing anyone. Fact is Christians are not supposed to be concerned with WORLDLY agendas such as getting power in politics such as the so-called “Christian” Right (or even worse, “Christian” Zionists) would have it.

    Yet the author has his own agenda if he expects non-Christians think all Christians ware into this political power trip. Buddy, if so, you are wrong. It is too bad if you think this is the way all Christians act.

  50. j r Says:

    I am so sick and tired of religious cults trying to force their delusional fairy tales on everyone else.

  51. Rushin Says:

    Religion – opium for the masses…

    V. Lenin

  52. D. L. Says:

    Amd, BTW, if you don’t like what this woman wants to do (and I don’t–and I’m a Christian!), home school your kids like I did. My son just graduated from Texas A & M…see, home schoolers don’t just send their kids to places like Bob Jones U or Pensacola Chistian College where girls have to wear skirts and their mega churches preach the “rapture” all the time, all kill Palestinian Christians as well as Muslims for the sake of God’s “Chosen” people under Genesis 12:3.

    Oh well, I just have to put up with typical stereotyping from someone likely not a Christian, or any religion…again!

  53. David Says:

    We will be a society. Whether anybody likes it or not, we will be a society. WE will be a polity. We will be a collective entity with a face to the rest of the world. We will either hold out an open hand or a closed fist to the rest of the world.

    We will either manage ourselves, or we will be managed.

    We need public schools. We need a collective identity that balances our individual identity with our assorted group identities. Race, religion, political philosophy, club, activity, whatever.
    We need a collective culture.
    We need to look to one another as members of a community in order to solve our common problems.

    The idea that we’re all going off into our houses, crawl under the covers and hide from one another is not helpful. That really puts us all at risk of being dominated by the power hungry. We’re going to have to allow ourselves to be incovenienced enough to stand up as individuals and stake out our claim on our country and culture. That’s what we’re doing.

  54. Thebes Says:

    Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the common law.
    –Thomas Jefferson

    I’m all for more conservatives, at least in the classical sense of smaller government and lower taxes. I am NOT for mandatory religious indoctrination with MY tax dollars. This is still a free nation, but many so called conservatives would have us ruled by a Christian Taliban.

  55. Rocket Mike Says:

    Folks, let’s not forget that a courageous and concerned Thomas Ratliff ran and beat Don McLeroy in the Republican primary for TSBOE District 9. He ran, as far as I can tell, as a conservative Christian as well as a rational human being who was sick and tired of the damage that McLeroy and his ilk were perpetrating on our children’s educations. There were no other candidates in the race, so I presume he will be the next board member from District 9. I wish him well and thank him for getting rid of McLeroy (I just wish it could have been sooner).

  56. Mike S Says:

    That’s a lady truly divorced from reality, not to mention sanity and good sense. Cynthia Dunbar, aside from having some real “Daddy” issues and being in urgent need to seriously grow up and attain independent adulthood, has absolutely no business whatsoever being in a position of public authority, with the ability to make major decisions affecting the educations and lives of others. It never seems to be in her mind that in the America of 2010 there are many millions of people who are not so-called “born-again” (sic) evangelical Christians such he she claims to be, and who would not wish to be told what to think, say, or do by those who identify themselves such as she. She does not have the “Devine Right” to such command and control over human beings who think differently, to the extent she does in fact think. Good luck, Texas, with this sort of misguided, pseudo-Christian Talibanist closed-mindedness and insanity. Ironically, the Protestant settlers who first came to Massachusetts and Virginia a long time ago would probably tell her to stuff it! In any case, what’s a demographically diverse America in 2010 supposed to do with this tripe? Even if all the first Americans were as batsh*t crazy as she is, they’re not now! So now what, Ms. Dunbar? For that you have no answers, exept to tell people that they have to “believe” what you say, because “The Bible,” aka you, say so. Textbook publishers and the Great American Public should not allow such ignorant people as Cynthia Dunbar to have such political power and authority. Let her run a prayer group, or perhaps a refridgerator, but thats about all she’s fit for. C’mon Texas, get real!

  57. S in PA Says:

    Except for the “adultery” parts, of course.

  58. willymack Says:

    I’d like to change “Beware the power of stupid people in large numbers” to “Beware of large numbers of nitwits with political power”.
    Religious loonies are ANTI-AMERICAN; it’s that simple.

  59. A. Magnus Says:

    “Christian” principles like priests sodomizing schoolchildren, burning non-converts at the stake and stealing Judaic law as a cover for a rebranded, phallus-worshipping solar cult? Your church steeples all resemble obelisks for a reason, and it has nothing to do with following the son of the G-d of Abraham. Sticking the graven image of a cross on your front lawn doesn’t make you any less of a Pharisee. Notice how Christ sold all his worldly possessions and encouraged his true followers to do the same. Modern fake Christianity is all about killing ‘lesser’ peoples and stealing their worldly possessions in order to ‘take the world back’ for their ‘Lord.’

    Too bad their true lord is Satan…

  60. Beverly Kurtin Says:

    Had I been present at the time poor Ms. Dumbar, Oh, I’m sorry, Dunbar brayed…there I go again…prayed to her Deity I would have asked her WHICH brand of Christianity is the true one? Are they the kind that handles snakes? How about the kind that don’t get medical treatment when it is required? Maybe she means any of the scores of churches that have the word Baptist in front of their name?

    I’ve some really deep problems with lying about this being a Christian country ruled by Christian laws. First, who started the religion in the first place? No…not Jesus; he was dead and gone long before Paul of Tarsus discovered that grown men would not be circumcised in order to become Jews which was necessary to become members of “The Way,” the first Christians. If she had the foggiest idea of what her “lord and Savior” said, she would NEVER pray in public. In Matthew 6 public prayer is prohibited, or did she decide that didn’t include her? Paul had a whole listing as to what Gd was against including backbiting, gossip telling, murder and, oh yes, let’s not forget (and persecute) homosexuals. Well, that is too many rulings (not laws) so let’s just drop ’em all and hate homosexuals. Yeah, that’s the good old Christian way.

    The Ten Suggestions (well, hell, folks, that’s how they’re treated) have zilch to do with the Christian religion: ZILCH. They were given 50 days after the Children of Israel left Egypt. Yup, they were given to those Jews centuries before Christians tried to take over the Jew’s position with Gd. They are still the apple of Gd’s eye and nothing anyone can do to overturn that.

    Oh, that’s right, I keep forgetting that the Jews are of no importance anymore; but at one time Hebrew was chosen as the language of this country. It still cracks me up when a Christian from a cemetery…oops, Seminary tries to pronounce Hebrew to me. They’ve not the foggiest idea of how to pronounce neither Hebrew nor Greek.

    Rabble…you said, “What? A Christian prayer…we can’t have that!! Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!” Were you being sarcastic as I took you to be or what? Whenever I attend a secular meeting and they try to start with a prayer, I whip out my copy of the “New” Testament and read from Matthew 6l where people are prohibited from praying in public. If they continue with their hypocrisy, I leave, write out my resignation, hand it to the power that is and go bye-bye. Even though it has NEVER been permitted to force prayer in schools, I was forced to say the “Lord’s Prayer,” which cracked me up. Jesus was giving people the outline of what prayer should be and then said don’t go around repeating prayers as the heathen do and sure enough, every blasted morning, “Our father who is in heaven…” I was deliberately late in attending class for several years rather than pray a prayer that was not Jewish.

    I mean if it was good enough for Jesus and his boys, it was good enough for me. Oh, pardon me, you didn’t know Jesus was Jewish? Sorry to break the news to you. He was an Essene, one of the most orthodox branches of Judaism then in vogue.The earliest mention of the Essenes is by the Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria (c. 20 BCE–54 CE). Philo told his readers that there were more than 4,000 Essenes (Essaioi) living in villages throughout Palestinian Syria [6]. Among their neighbors they were noted for their love of God and their concerns with piety, honesty, morality, philanthropy, holiness, equality, and freedom. The holy Essenes did not marry and lived a celibate life, and practiced communal residence, money, property, food and clothing. They observed the Sabbath according to all the strictest instructions and spent much of their time studying the Law according to philosophical and allegorical interpretations. They cherished freedom, possessed no slaves, and rejected the use of weapons or participation in commerce. Philo did not mention any names or places, nor any background to the origins of this group.

    The so-called “missing years” of Jesus weren’t missing at all; he was with the Essenes, learning the law of which he said, “Do not think that I have come to destroy the law, but to fulfill it and not one jot or tittle shall pass until the end of the world.”

    Once again, Christians ignore that as though they have the right to pick and chose what they will follow. When he was asked what the most important law was he recited the Shema, the pronouncement, “Hear O Israel, the Lord our Gd is One,” and the second is like the first, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

    There is much HATE behind the doors of Christian churches. I have met some Christians who I knew by their love for each other and for others; very fine people whose company I thoroughly enjoyed and I respected them deeply. The same can’t be said for those who would dictate to us that they either believed exactly what they believe or they would go to hell.

    I’ll close by saying that Christianity is a fire escape religion. Most Christians become Christians because they don’t want to go to hell and they think that the blood of Jesus will “save them” from hell. It won’t. Go read Ezekiel 18.

    I suggest to all, Christian, Jew, Muslim alike that they go to http://www.whatjewsbelieve.org. THAT is what Jesus taught; so if you want to be true to the teachings of Jesus, either go to that site or just read the Holy Scriptures (Christians call it the old testament). You will be in for the shock of your life. I am not anti-Christian; I am opposed to the way many of them ignore the bible.

    The founders of this country were ESCAPING Christianity; they wanted nothing to do with it. They were being forced to support a church in which they did not believe. Suppose YOU were forced to support your local synagogue against your will, wouldn’t you get your dander up? I know I would.

    No, dear friends, this is not a Christian country under Christian laws; it is a secular country that opens its door to anyone regardless of their religion, their creeds or the color of their skin. America, what a wonderful country!

  61. David Says:

    Isn’t it great that we live in such a culturally diverse society?🙂

  62. Charles Says:

    When I heard Cynthia Dunbar delivering the two prayers in the threads above, it reminded me of several things things from the Bible:

    Luke 18:10

    And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

    Ms. Dunbar would be totally impervious to the possibility that the scripture quoted above might apply to her, wherein she is the pharisee. I would now like to briefly turn to the subject of why people like Ms. Dunbar cannot be rebuked with scripture. From the earliest age in their fundamentalist churches, they are taught that Satan is a master at remembering and quoting scripture to anyone and everyone. Therefore, if anyone does quote scripture to them, and it is just something that their hard hearts do not wish to hear, they can just dismiss it as Satan talking. It gives them the “perfect out” to avoid self- examination and the sinner within themselves. In truth, I believe that Dunbar is totally detached from the wide and sinful path that she is treading with her activity on the Texas SBOE.

  63. Steven Wells Says:

    “this State Board of Education member wrote that public education is a “subtly deceptive tool of perversion,” tyrannical and unconstitutional.”

    It is now; she’s seen to that.

  64. Charles Says:

    David and Beverly. I have a friend, actually an extended family member, who is a member of the Unitarian-Universalist Church. The subject of religion came up at a family get together, and he said something that has stuck with me for years. Here’s the money quote: “I have the best church in the world. We don’t believe in anything.” Yep. This is a diverse country.

  65. David Says:

    You know, when sex maniacs, alcoholics, and crackheads go on the 12 step program, many times they’re the most strident “evangelicals” around.
    Just sayin’…

  66. David Says:

    Of course, they tend to backslide a lot too..
    Which, of course, makes them even more insistent on controlling other people’s behavior.

  67. Vandal Says:

    I know I’m a lonely little petunia in an onion patch, so I’ll make this brief. Folks, even Ben Franklin, some of y’all’s favorite “deist” recommended prayer before every session of the Continental Congress. History in America is replete with the obvious Christian foundation (including prayer before gov’t meetings) for our country’s formation and, up ’til last 50 years or so, the governance of our great land. We can chose to ignore history, we can change what we’ll do from some point forward in contradistiction to our past, but history remains history. There’s nothing new in what SBOE member Dunbar did having a prayer before a meeting.

  68. Charles Says:

    Vandal:

    I am not familiar with Franklin doing that. He did make a motion on the floor to do that at the constitutional convention in 1787. It never came to a vote, and they never did it.

    You appear to be mistaken about the nature of this blog. I am not sure anyone here has a favorite deist or subscribes to deism. In addition, just for your information, this is not an atheist blog, agnostic blog, nonChristian blog, or Christian blog. All sorts of people show up here to put in their 2 cents. Our friend Gene puts in the same 2 cents every time. In addition, in case you are not aware of it, the activities of TFN are supported by more than 600 religious groups in Texas, many of them being mainstream Christian denominations such as the United Methodist Church.

    The first British settlers in the United States came here for economic reasons only, and they were soon followed by another colony whose main purpose was to grow tobacco for profit and sell it in Europe, which turned out to be a successful venture that lasted. The Pilgrims and Puritans arrived later. The United States government was not founded on Christian principles. There is ample proof of that fact in the historical record. However, rather early on, the United States did become a place where most members of the population identified themselves as Christians or at least leaned that way if they were sitting on some fence. This country has a diverse and wonderful religious history, and people of faith (mostly the Christian faith) did the building, sweating, and dying necessary to create this country. I do not think anyone here at TFN wants to cover that up or belittle it. In fact, I think many of us here believe that more of it should be taught in our social studies classes than what is taught now because it is an important part of our history and culture and it has been neglected some.

    It occurs to me that you must be totally confused now. I would be if I were you. After all, people have told you that TFN is an atheist organization. People have told you that TFN hates Jesus. People have told you that TFN despises Christians. People have told you that TFN works for Satan. People have told you all sorts of things—all of which just happen not to be true. I am a Christian, and I hang out here. You say, “Well, if that’s the case, why do you hang out here and what is all the controversy about?” That is complex and very hard to explain to someone who has not done just a whole lot of reading and studying about the phenomenon called the Religious Right in this country. As the Bible says, Satan is a deceiver and a subtle one at that. That is why you have to read your Bible a lot, study a lot, and dig deep down into both to see what he has wrapped his claws around tightly. Right now, those claws are wrapped tightly around conservative Christianity in the United States. Satan has it in a choke hold, and the people who are being choked are not aware that their air is running out. In fact, they have been deceived into thinking that they are doing good when they are really doing evil. This is how the Force of Evil operates in this world. Because it is such a complex problem, I will show you one simple and easy to understand reason why I am at TFN.

    One name: Rousas John Rushdoony. He is dead now. He developed a man-created philosophy called Christian Reconstructionism or sometimes Dominionism. He claimed that it was rooted in the Bible, but much of what he advocated was counter to the Christian faith, counter to American ideals, and heretical. I will just come out and say it. I think Rousas Rushdoony was an evil man and utterly unAmerican in his outlook. For example, most Christians are premillenialists, which means that things down here on Earth are really sinful and messed up, and it will stay that way until Jesus comes a second time to straighten it all out. However Rushdoony was a postmillenialist. He believed that men like himself were preordained (most of these idiots are Presbyterians) by God to perfect humanity here on Earth. Then Jesus would look down from on High, see how men had perfected themselves and the Earth , and then decide to come back to Earth because he knows he will not get stained by imperfection and sin when he arrives—or some such trash as that. He also believed that slavery was a good thing, particularly black slavery. In fact, he believed that God created some men with a slavery mindset and tried to argue that God had created them to be slaves. He also hated democracy and the American form of government, arguing vociferously that it was unGodly—and should be replaced by a totalitarian religious dictatorship.

    I could go on and on with all of the bizarre things that this nut believed. However, all you have to know is one thing. The phrase “America is a Christian nation” was not an American colonial idea. It was not a 1776 American Revolution idea. It was not a U.S. Constitution idea when the U.S. government was formed in 1787-1788. It was a much more recent idea that came on the scene after Elvis and Buddly Holly in the late 1950s. Yes, it was that late in time when Rushdoony dreamed up all of his bizarre nonsense—which is counter to the whole spirit of Jesus and his mission in the New Testament. Rushdoony appeared to have liked the Old Testament law much more. So, what is the problem and how does that relate to TFN?

    The problem is that a lot of conservative religious leaders in the United States have been sucked into Rushdoony’s philosophy on the sly and are propogating it—many of them without even being aware that this is what they are doing. For example, the homeschool movement and the educational materials they use are heavily influenced by Rushdoony and his ideas. Some pastors are doing it on purpose because they have been deceived into thinking that Rushdoony’s man-made philosophy is somehow Christian. Based on Rushdoony and his Dominionist ideas, the Religious Right in this country is consciously trying to unravel the U.S. Constiution that has served us so well for the past 200+ years and is trying to replace it and our government at all levels (Federal, State, and Local) with a religious dictatorship that would supposedly be Christian—but would really be little more than an attempt to force Americans into becoming Old Testament Jews—and then call them Christian. They want to create the kind of American government where your sister could be executed with a bullet to the head for missing the 11:00 a.m. service at her church. Vandal, these people are nuts!!! I think the reason TFN and the rest of us are here is because we know the players in this game and have read up on their philosophies and ideas—knowing deep things about them the average American citizen would have no reason to know. We see the claws of Satan around the throats of people like Cynthia Dunbar. Basically, we are trying to save this country before it slips into the abyss. if it does, the loving Christian faith that has served us well for the past 2000 years will slip into the abyss with it. Not to fear. It will remerge in time. The light of the Holy Spirit cannot be snuffed. The question is just how many Americans will be tortured or will die at the hand of the new American religious dictatorship before the light re-emerges. Go read the history of the Spanish Inquisition. This record has been played before.

  69. flek Says:

    And this echos the overall problem with nosy busy bodies within the corrupt and
    unconstitutional ‘public school system’
    These bible thumpers have no idea of true freedom. The freedom to say NO!
    NO, my family and I do not want your religion.
    NO, there is nothing within the Constitution that allows you to impose a mass religion on any citizen
    NO, my children will not be subjected to your tripe.
    YES, I will home-school my kids to keep you and your lop-sided ideas/indoctrination away from them.
    YES, I will believe or disbelieve whatever I want. I will teach my kids, and any others the same.
    NO, Cynthia Dunbar I will not feed your narcissistic supply.
    YES, Cynthia Dunbar…I agree…you should resign…you are dripping of snake-oil.

  70. David Says:

    Which Ben Franklin quote is more relevant to our task at hand? I couldn’t decide…

    “. . . Some books against Deism fell into my hands. . . It happened that they wrought an effect on me quite contrary to what was intended by them; for the arguments of the Deists, which were quoted to be refuted, appeared to me much stronger than the refutations; in short, I soon became a thorough Deist.”

    “I wish it (Christianity) were more productive of good works … I mean real good works … not holy-day keeping, sermon-hearing … or making long prayers, filled with flatteries and compliments despised by wise men, and much less capable of pleasing the Deity.”
    – Works, Vol. VII, p. 75

    Check out this website, Vandal,
    http://freethought.mbdojo.com/foundingfathers.html

    I’ll have to look up the “prayer” reference, I know he recommended prayer once, but I’m not sure he did for every session.

  71. David Says:

    Do you ever wonder if Dunbar or McLeroy, et al, ever consider for a moment whether they might be headed for everlasting Hellfire for using the Lord’s name in vain, lying, hating, ignoring the words of Jesus and making up stuff that they claim is “Christian”?
    It makes me think they don’t really believe all that stuff about Heaven and Hell. They just don’t like people who are different than they are.

  72. Charles Says:

    David.

    I don’t think it ever crosses their minds. They have their grace-bequested fire insurance, which allows them to be as wrong as they wish and still not suffer any consequences for it, because it is backed up by the doctrine of eternal security of the believer (a baseline Baptist tenet). They also have the Bible as their rule book. They just take it out, measure whatever the issue is, and determine whether they are within the boundary or outside of it. If they are within the boundary themselves, they feel okay and safe. Best I can tell, most of them have avoided reading Matthew 23 and its implications for the adequacy of using a measurement tool.

    David, go read Matthew 23 in the Bible and see what happened when Jesus confronted the James Dobsons, Jerry Falwells, Pat Robertsons, Don McLeroys, and Cynthia Dunbars of his own time. Read it slowly and carefully—and get inside what He is saying to these people. Meet me back here, and we can discuss.

  73. Beverly Kurtin Says:

    David, I do get a kick out of your additions to this blog. One of the things that Christians, particularly the modern evangelical kind. is that they attribute everything to them, totally ignoring that Deuteronomy 4:2 says, “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish [ought] from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.” That is in the Jewish Scriptures known as the Tenach. So why did Christianity add a bunch of books after scripture had been closed?

    One of the things I enjoy about being a Jew is that we don’t have an exclusivity clause in our teachings. Anyone who follows the seven Noahide laws. Maimonides explains that any human being who faithfully observes these laws earns a proper place in heaven. So you see, the Torah is for all humanity, no conversion necessary. They are: Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not worship false gods, Do not be sexually immoral, Do not eat a limb removed from a live animal, Do not curse God, and Set up courts and bring offenders to justice. Do those things and you’re all set Why? Because we are all from Noah! There is no need to convert in order to find a place in the world to come.

    If you try to convert to Judaism, you will find a tough time because any rabbi will throw up more roadblocks in your path to make certain that this is something you really want to do because there is nothing to be gained by converting. Families have disowned members of their own families because “they’re following Satan” instead of Jesus, who, when asked what the most important commandment was said “Hear O Israel THE LORD OUR GD THE LORD IS ONE.” He continued, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” There is ONE God…go ask Jesus.

    This is a SECULAR country regardless of the right-wing nuts say. The largest religion in the world is Islam, not Christianity. Do you want America and Islamic country?

  74. Beverly Kurtin Says:

    Charles, ya done good, however there are some problematic verses that if read as meant, removes Jesus as being the Messiah. In verse 10 “Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ.” He is saying there is a Messiah and I’m not he. I was astonished that the writers of the NIV (one of the better versions out there) used the word “Christ” instead of Messiah as they both mean the same. Then later on in the chapter he talks about hell. NO WAY would he have said that as an orthodox Jew he knew that Judaism does not teach about a hell. It is a Greek invention. Then he spoke about this generation passing away before those things he was talking about came about. Whoa! Which generation? The one to whom he was talking. They died thousands of years ago. Even though one is dipping a toe into a literal reading, this time it works. It cannot be twisted to mean anything else.

    Then there is the matter of SATAN. There is an accuser called the devil, one who tries to falsely lie about a person or sway them from the truth (look at how he messed up Job) but no Satan and Jesus being classically trained knew that

    One more thing and I’ll fall off my soap box: Why do Christians constantly say father, gd, lord, over and over and over again. Do they think he is deaf or has attention disorder? When I pray I say, “Abba (daddy)” once and finish the prayer. Sometimes it is to thank him for sending a messenger (angel) to get me to do something stat (like stopping my car so a truck who broke through the barrier didn’t kill me) or just to say thanks or howdy. Jewish prayer is formal and informal. But the idea that Gd needs to hear his name over and over and over, etc. is a bit much.

    I hope that y’all have a fun week.

  75. David Says:

    I think you have to run all of these things, whether you’re a disciple of Jesus or not, through the historical and cultural facts of Greek religion, esp. orphism, and the cultural environment of the first several centuries of Christianity.
    Not all Christians pray the same way. The current evangelical fad is to reinforce over and over the patriarchal aspect of their belief. It’s part of the backlash against feminism.

  76. Heath Says:

    Posted this on another blog….

    As a student of history, I can claim to know more than the layman about pretty much any historic time period; I can trace the failures of the first five commanders of the Army of the Potomac during the American Civil War or tell you how Alexander defeated the Persians at Arbela with equal ease. I do, however, have a few areas of special interest: the fall of Republican Rome, 1960’s politics, and the foundation of the United States. That makes sense, really: all three are areas featuring inspirational leadership…and the struggle of the new against the old. I just read the standards being advocated for Texas textbooks, and, by extension, the textbooks of the entire country for the next decade. These include some very ultra-right wing ideas; I won’t say conservative ideas, because “conservative” is not a bad word nor are those who fly the conservative flag bad people. Conservatives are necessary in any free society, as are liberals, to allow that society to move forward at the appropriate pace; not too fast, not too slow, and with a maximum amount of dialogue. The standards I just read about, however, are not “conservative”, but rather a very narrow and strictly religious viewpoint on how American school children need to be taught regardless of their beliefs. These include the idea that Thomas Jefferson should not be considered an intellectual Founder of the country; that Joe McCarthy wasn’t really a demagogue who trampled on the Constitution and instituted a reign of fear; that the Civil Rights Movement and the social reforms of the Sixties are unimportant next to the Conservative Movement of the Nineties; and that the Founders were all *strict* Christians.

    Fascinatingly enough, all of these happen to fall into my areas of expertise, so I’d like a chance to rebut some of these statements of “fact” and then tell you, whoever may be reading this, why political discourse in our country is splintering along religious lines. Let’s tackle Jefferson first. I have never been a fan of our third president; as a man, he has always struck me as a fickle genius who never thought twice about back-biting a friend to further his ambition, or about championing equality while owning a slave mistress. Now, I have always held up the Constitution as our greatest founding document rather than Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence. That being said: Thomas Jefferson was the man who nearly single-handily started the political party system in American politics, who arranged the purchase of most of the American Mississippian Corridor and thus touched off the idea of “manifest destiny”, and who penned the most influential words in American history: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. These words have been quoted ever since, by every court and high position in our land. To say that they have no place in the intellectual founding of our country is not only wrong, it is incontestably wrong. What has Jefferson done to earn this demotion in the eyes of Texan text-book board members? Simply put: he was a deist, who believed in a Christian god but not in the organized religion itself, and in a country and, more importantly, a state where it has become a moral imperative to prove that those who founded this country were STRICTLY Christian, he was an embarrassment because he wrote down his feelings far too often for them to be misconstrued. So…now Thomas Jefferson, who has a memorial in Washington, his face on Mount Rushmore, and numerous schools named after him, is apparently no longer an intellectual founder of this nation.

    As for the Founders, the idea that they were ALL strictly Christian is historical revisionism at it’s worst (funny, since revisionism is usually a tool of liberalism). Like most Christians, the Founders had varying degrees and intensities of belief, from the devout John Adams to the doubtful George Washington who always talked about “Divine Providence” rather than any specific God to Alexander Hamilton, who was fairly atheistic during the Revolution but grew quite devout later on, to the aforementioned Jefferson, who had faith, but not in organized religion. To paint them all with the same brush is unfortunate revisionism, since diversity was and remains a great thing about this country, even when we find it inconvenient. The Ultra-Religious Right, by supporting the recent Texas Board of Education decision, has proven that they want to rewrite history in their own image, and if they can’t rewrite it, as with Thomas Jefferson, they will simply downplay it’s significance.

    The truth, as far as I can see it and as far as anything could ever be called “the truth”, is that the founding of this nation was based on an awkward fact: most of the Founders were aristocratic and educated landowners during the Enlightenment and thus were imbued with a sense of Reason over Religion, while at the same time most common Americans were descended from the Puritan settlers we celebrate every Thanksgiving and thus were not the most religiously tolerant of people. THERE is the awkward fact at the heart of the American founding: most of the men shouldering muskets at Bunker Hill were strictly religious while most of the men at Independence Hall writing our laws were not. The great thing about the Constitution, and about those men who wrote it, was that they recognized that religion should be personal, not political, individualized rather than institutionalized. It is a paradox of American existence both the left and right need to accept.

  77. Charles Says:

    Thanks Beverly. I appreciate new thoughts and perspectives. A diamond has many facets, and you learn a lot from looking at each one—and you sometimes get a new sparkle.

  78. David Says:

    I agree with Heath.

  79. David Says:

    ps. Something I was looking at this am caused my realtime search to put up the “Constitution Party” for view.

    I learned something else today, the Constitution Party (which is apparently where Dunbar and McLeroy are getting some of their craziest ideas) , is a spinoff or renaming of the American Independent Party, of George Wallace.
    In other words, the KKK.
    I knew this was where they were going, but it’s interesting to have the dots connected for me.

  80. Cytocop CT(ASCP) Says:

    Beverly Kurtin wrote: “….Jesus, who, when asked what the most important commandment was said “Hear O Israel THE LORD OUR GD THE LORD IS ONE.” He continued, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” There is ONE God…go ask Jesus.”

    And:
    “Then he spoke about this generation passing away before those things he was talking about came about. Whoa! Which generation? The one to whom he was talking. They died thousands of years ago.”

    Note to Beverly:
    I have pointed out both these items (as well as many other things) here before you Bev, and absolutely nobody appreciated my message. You see, if you’re not Christian, neither your viewpoint nor your educated understanding of scripture nor your knowledge of Hebrew count for anything to a Christian. And it doesn’t matter if they are liberal or conservative Christian. They believe we Jews have nothing at all to say about even OUR OWN SCRIPTURE. Whatever we think or know about it is either invalid (because of Jesus) or just plain wrong. Or worse, as in ‘influenced by Satan’ or some such statement.

    Remember, Jews were considered the “good guys” only up until the nanosecond Jesus popped out of Mary’s vagina. Then once he was out, presto change-o, Jews became the Bad Guys. Because of Jesus, Judaism (and thus Jews) are considered kaput. Yesterday’s news. Finished. Replaced. Thus, to read – or even so much as consider – what we have to say about even our own scripture is considered suspicious AT BEST.

    I realize everyone has put me on their Ignore button as nobody comments or even reads my postings anymore. That’s a theory I’ve tested: I’ve posted something, and then somebody else posts the same message (just worded differently) after my posting which proves they never read mine. Apparently, everyone here agrees with one poster who labeled me a “Marxist;” thus, they don’t bother to read anything I post assuming my messages will only be “Marxist Bull-poo.” What I’m leading up to is that since this message is addressed specifically to you, maybe at least you will read it.

    Then again, maybe not.

    P.S. I’ve added my professional title after my screen name – as if my title would mean anything to anyone, ha.

  81. David Says:

    Hey, Cyto’…
    I always read your posts, usually when you’re talking about stuff beyond my level of expertise I don’t comment directly. I feel like I’ve learned a lot from reading your posts. Charles comes at it from the standpoint of a committed Christian who sees the threat of the intolerants on the SBOE.
    The most recent of my own education is “How The Irish Saved Western Civilization,” which gave me some insight into the time of St. Augustine and developments thereafter, and “Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion, which throws a lot of light onto certain aspects of Christianity, like the timing of holidays, and things like the Easter Bunny and Easter Egg, and also makes one wonder about certain other elements of Christ’s story as it has been passed down to us.
    Then we hear from some guy with a totally different perspective about the whole thing, and how Christians are actually worshipping Satan or something…
    Some of what I’ve read on other blogs recently indicates there’s quite a diversity in the interpretation of Judaism among Jews.
    Anyway, I don’t know why you should feel so touchy about it, or any more agrieved than any of the rest of us.
    Frankly, I’m an uncertainist. I think if everyone would admit to their uncertainty they’d be able to show a little humility,and we could all get along in this world.
    As far as Marxism goes, I hadn’t gotten a picture of you as any more “Marxist” than anyone else around here. I probably gloss over some things.

  82. Beverly Kurtin Says:

    Nu? Cytocop CT(ASCP), I read all of the comments here whether I agree or disagree with them, it’s only the polite thing to do on a blog like this. Talking to many people is like talking to the wall (don’t tell me, my mind is made up) and that’s okay by me because I’m certain that a lot of folks here don’t agree with me. What am I going to do, have a fit? That’s not my style and I do respect other’s ideas EXCEPT the idiots on the SBOE.

    I’ve met people who absolutely refuse to accept that Jesus was a Jew; they deny it with all of their emotions. It is rather silly of adults who claim to have read about Jesus and yet deny who he was and, more importantly, who he wasn’t.

    Now what the heck is ASCP? I’ve a Ph.D. (Poor, hungry, desperate…post hole digger, etc.). But I since a stroke took most of what made me a computer engineer, I seldom use my title. I use it when I’m in a medical situation but usually don’t bother.

    Again, as long as people keep the seven Noahide laws it makes no difference of what religion they follow. But I enjoy banging my head against a wall; it feels so great when I stop.

    When I showed up for my appointment with my doctor a few weeks ago, I brought a stuffed chicken with me and handed it to him. He is still laughing about it and has it proudly displayed on his assistant’s desk.

    Shalom…Bev

  83. Charles Says:

    Anyone been following this Rand Paul thing?

    It is a perfect example of far right wing fruitcakes gone crazy. Now, I will tell you honestly, I do believe most Libertarians when they tell me they are not racists. They are just committed to the philosophical principle that no one, especially a government, has a right to tell a person what they can and cannot do with their own party. If you do not want black people in your place of business, it should be your right to say “no” to hiring them.

    But that’s not the point. In their innocent state they might enact something like that, but it would be a God send to all of the nonlibertarian racists from sea to shining sea. Even one of my best friends, who is more liberal than Obama and voted for Obama, still tells me that he is reluctant to hire black people because they are lazy and shiftless. If he’s thinking that way, I shudder to think what the far right folks are thinking. Fact is, no matter how innocent Rand Paul’s philosophical purity might be, implementing something like that would tear this country apart at its seems. Revolution. War in the streets. Mayhem.

    Rand Paul has successfully demonstrated to me that Libertarians are philosophical purists—but impractical and extremely naive.

  84. Charles Says:

    Oops. Seams. Sorry.

  85. Joe Falco Says:

    As much as I detest all of this holy roller, evangelical, fundamental garbage, I am inspired and encouraged by the children
    (cue violin music).

    Yes, the children.

    Because if children are anything like I was, and my friends were, and my kindergarten-aged daughter and her friends are, and my wife and her sister and friends who were raised in the deep Bible Belt of Tennessee

    they will see through this BS in a New York second

    Now, that doesn’t mean we have to stop the fight, and I believe we will win, but, to use a tired, old cliche,

    “let the children show the way”

  86. Charles Says:

    You are right Joe Falco. When I was in high school back in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the local schools in our southern town had been integrated only a few years previously. My parents, who had been born in 1910 and 1911, referred to black people using the famous n-word. It was not a vicious sort of thing. It was just the word they had learned to use when they were kids, like we use “black” now. However, we were very poor and my parents were always afraid of what “more powerful people” in town might say or do to hurt them if my mom “got out of line” and invited a black person to come over to dinner rather than help wash clothes. Now, here’s the funny part. I want all of you Texas fruitcake racists out there to follow this next part closely. Texas SBOE—listen up.

    School integration was greatly feared and done only grudgingly by the parental and local government types in my hometown—only because the law required them to do it. When the black kids showed up at our schools, we white kids got along great with them. There was no rioting. There were no expletive putdowns in the hallways. In fact, I do not remember a single kid pulling me aside and making a negative comment about the black kids. We kids accepted these black kids because they were really nice people whose mom’s and dads had raised them to be good and decent people. Moreover, we had not been subject to any liberal school propaganda designed to brainwash us into thinking these black kids were acceptable, none that I recall. In fact, I suspect that some of the white racist community and education leaders did their best at keeping such propaganda out of our schools and succeeded in doing it—to no avail. Most of us kids knew our parents were screwed up on the race thing. We just ignored our parents’ prejudices and accepted the black kids because it was the right thing to do.

    We still have racists, but I suspect that we have fewer and fewer of them with each passing generation. As was the case when I was in school, the kids really are leading the way in ending racism. Even when parents try to teach their kids racism, I think a lot of the kids know mom and dad are full of &^%$* and just ignore them. My 8-year-old son is just as southern white Anglo-Saxon protestant as they come. Who are his heroes? George Washington? Jefferson Davis? Thomas Edison? Nope. His heroes are ALL a long line of extremely tall black men in the NBA. They have more moves than Ex-Lax, and he wants to have the same moves when he tries out for the Middle School basketball team.

    I have a friend named Kara. She has a number of favorite sayings I have picked up and adopted over the years. She has a unique and funny way of uttering them that I cannot quite mimic. One of her sayings is, “Management always lies.” I have found that to be true quite frequently. Another of her sayings is: “We’re doomed, I tell you. Doo-o-o-o-o-med!!” Most of the time she is right.

    I have bad news for the Texas SBOE and those who sympathize with them. Your prejudices are: “Doomed, I tell you. Doo-o-o-omed!!!!” Your kids will lead the way in doing away with racism—not because they have been brainwashed by liberals—but because—just like the kids in my hometown—they know when their parents are messed up with prejudice and that this is neither right nor Christian. Kids are smarter than you think. Your kids will grow up to be “chummy” with black people, red people, yellow people, illegal Mexicans, gay people, and possibly with aliens from some other world. And the great part—the really fun part for me—is that there is absolutely nothing you can do to stop it.

    The anthropologist has spoken.

  87. Cytocop CT(ASCP) Says:

    Thank you for your responses, David and Beverly.

    I have noticed one or two of the regulars here always have dismissed as nonsense any time I have presented a Jewish perspective to the discussion. When commented on at all, my message is shrugged off as mere “interpretation,” the unspoken message of course being ‘And your Jewish interpretation, Cytocop, is wrong and stupid.’ Fine. But could they please PROVE I’m wrong? No.

    It all traces back to the way Christians are programmed. They are taught to be arrogant, assuming their belief is the only valid one, all others false and satan-inspired. Worse, they are not even interested in what the Bible actually SAYS. Hell, what the Bible SAYS means nothing and would, in fact, spoil everything. They are only interested in their own spin of what the Bible says.

    For example, to use one of your issues that you pointed out, Beverly, the fact that Jesus makes the statement he does about the Shema is meaningless to Christians. Throughout the N.T., Jesus repeatedly portrays himself as ambiguous at best – hopelessly delusional or purposely deceitful at worst – about who and what he is. Even his own family didn’t believe in him. Somehow, inexplicably, they totally forgot about his “miraculous” birth. And speaking of his birth, compare Jesus’ two genealogies presented in Matthew 1 and Luke 3. Matthew’s genealogy consists of 41 generations from Abraham to Jesus. Luke’s genealogy shows 56 generations from Abraham to Jesus. And the names of the counterpart genealogies do not match up. How can both genealogies be true?? It makes no sense! Let’s not even begin to discuss the contradictions of the alleged resurrection and the tomb and who was there and what they saw and what happened. If Jesus is God – “of one Being and substance with the Father” as the Athanasian Creed dictates, why does God always refer to himself as ‘me’? “Thou shalt have no other God besides ME? Why would God not say Thou shalt have no other God besides US? Wouldn’t that be the correct way to call a multiple God? Are Christians then saying the Bible doesn’t know proper grammar?

    Contradiction and confusion abounds on every page of the N.T. But try to get a Christian to see these things. I’m not even going to bother discussing how Christians have attacked the so-called “Old Testament” with their alleged “proof texts.” Their proof texts are so easy to demolish it’s not even fair. Never mind how they ignore all the text that contradict their proof texts. Simple, they just brush that off as not “germane.” They are incapable of removing their tunnel vision for just one second. They refuse to face these things like rational mature adults and instead cling to their myths like a lifeline. That’s not adult. That’s delusional. Yet, instead of being honest about it, they attack JEWS as if it’s our fault.

    I realize Christians consider me a stupid dumb-ass idiot. But, likewise, if people lack respect for Christians it is Christians’ own fault.

    Yes, there is a lot of diversity among Jews but it is usually confined to how we observe the mitzot – or not. But, unlike Christians, we don’t make up words that aren’t there in the text nor do we take away words that are there in the text. It’s a matter of how relevant we find them in our lives today in 21st century America. Even the Orthodox are unable to keep ALL of the mitzvot as the Temple does not exist.

    Touchy? How would you like to be dissed repeatedly? Not even acknowledged for my “contribution” to the discussion? How would you like to be called Marxist by someone who doesn’t even know you? And I’m talking about the asshole who said I lack the skills, knowledge, etc. to live in the real world. I suppose you would enjoy being thus unprovokedly insulted?

    CT(ASCP) means Cytotechnologist (American Society of Clinical Pathologists). The ASCP is the registering body of pathologists, MT’s, MLT’s, HT’s, CT’s, and the like.

  88. Vanessa Alonso Says:

    If only more people would read this..

  89. Beverly Kurtin Says:

    Yeah, Vanessa, it would be nice if more people would read this. But some folks are proud to be ignorant. I have met people who I thought were intelligent but who have told me “Now that I’m out of school, I don’t have to read, so I don’t. I haven’t read a book in years.”

    I ask if they have a bible. They haul out a dusty leather bound King James Version. Who, today, can read the archaic language in that thing? Their preachers tell them that it was translated from the “Textus Receptus” Textus Receptus (Latin: “received text”) is the name subsequently given to the succession of printed Greek texts of the New Testament which constituted the translation base for the original German Luther Bible, for the translation of the New Testament into English by William Tyndale, the King James Version, and for most other Reformation-era New Testament translations throughout Western and Central Europe. The series originated with the first printed Greek New Testament to be published; a work undertaken in Basel by the Dutch Catholic scholar and humanist Desiderius Erasmus in 1516, on the basis of some six manuscripts, containing between them not quite the whole of the New Testament. The lacking text was translated from Vulgate. Although based mainly on late manuscripts of the Byzantine text-type, Erasmus’s edition differed markedly from the classic form of that text.

    Typographical errors (attributed to the rush to complete the work) abounded in the published text. Erasmus also lacked a complete copy of the book of Revelation and was forced to translate the last six verses back into Greek from the Latin Vulgate in order to finish his edition.

    So essentially, today’s majority of Christians have been sold a bill of goods. Their leaders do not know Greek (there are exceptions, of course)

    But, and here is the number one problem, the Tenach hasn’t changed since it was written thousands of years ago, not one letter, not “as Jesus said, one jot or tittle.” While the Christian books have changed so much that nobody knows what VERSION is real.

    It does not anger me that Christians refuse to accept FACTS, they blindly swim around in their ignorance without even showing a damn for what is the truth.

    If this is a Christian Country then I am a yo-yo and I’m NOT one of those.

  90. Cytocop CT(ASCP) Says:

    Beverly, I thoughtlessly neglected to wish you well in your recovery. Mi Shebeirach and Shalom to you.

    Likewise, it does not anger me that Christians refuse to accept FACTS; it’s that they refuse to accept what is actually written in the Bible.

    Actually a handful of their leaders (or former leaders I should say) DO know Greek. Check out the author, Biblical scholar, and FORMER evangelical Christian, Bart Ehrman. He is the author of MISQUOTING JESUS and several other books.

    Now, apparently, a new (new to me) defense weapon they have come up with is the color of the letters. If the letters are not in red ink, Jesus did not say them. So, apparently, anything written in black ink is to be dismissed. If Christians want to condense their New Testament into The Quotations Of Chairman Jesus, fine. That’s up to them. But if they are going to do that, they’re going to have to dismiss the alleged miraculous birth of Jesus for one thing. There is nothing there written in red ink since, logically, Jesus wasn’t speaking before and immediately after his birth.

    Btw, I checked into this ink color thing and discovered that the red inking of scripture did not begin until 1899. If my arithmetic is correct, any ear-witnesses to what Jesus actually said were probably dead by 1899.

    I found this interesting passage:
    “The red letter edition was invented by Louis Klopsch, then editor of The Christian Herald magazine in 1899, and first published in 1900[1]. This style of Bible instantly became popular, and is sometimes favored by Christians in the United States. Especially in King James Bibles, this format can be useful as quotation marks are not used.”
    [End quote]

    Funny but when I was making my point about Jesus’ genealogy above, I missed the most important lesson: Jesus’ father was not Joseph! Christianity says Jesus’ daddy was God. Joseph was nothing more than a step-dad, making Joseph’s genealogy irrelevant to Jesus. So there was no reason to have a genealogy in there whether the genealogy is correct or incorrect. So one might ask, why is it there?

    It seems that I’ve been accused (not by Beverly!) of not accepting uncertainty. Where in the world that person got that notion from, I have no idea. I have posted here AD NAUSEUM my trouble, doubts, and uncertainty about the Bible. I thought I would have made myself abundantly clear about that by now. I have ranted and raved what my personal opinion is of Genesis, for example. But perhaps that person has not read all my postings.

    To return to Beverly’s example: When Jesus says the Shema, (“Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One”), would that not have been the perfect time for him to declare: Oh, and by the way, Dude, I am the Son of God. Or, I am 1/3 of God. But does it say that or any such thing there in the New Testament? No. So, if they’re honest, Christians have to ask themselves, how come Jesus did not make his declaration then? He either deceitfully was keeping it a secret, did not know, or did not think he was a part of God. If he did not know he is part of God, why did he not know? If he was keeping it a secret, why? What could have been his motive?

    To conclude with just one more troublesome issue (but oh my goodness, there are SO many), here’s something Christians should also ponder:
    “And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43, KJV)).
    COMMENT: According to the New Testament, Jesus did not ascend to heaven until Pentecost – 50 days after Easter. So how is it that the thief crucified next to him was promised paradise with Jesus THAT day?

  91. Capt 45 Says:

    The lack historical and theological knowledge shown in these posts is staggering. So much anger! Y’all sound like you’re whistling in the dark, desperately trying to convince – who? – that you are not afraid.

    Siobhan, the horrors you witnessed are political masquerading as ‘religious’ and perpetrated by others rather like posters here who know nothing of theology/Christology. It is all very sad, really, but not surprising.

    Try reading some works by Joseph Ratzinger (aka Benedict XVI, Bishop of Rome) or by John Henry Newman. Try Thomas More. Dante? Descartes, anyone? Peter Kreeft? UT Austin’s own “Dr Theophilus”?

    By the way, go ahead and do away with God and Jesus Christ. Refresh yourselves with those who have done so – GB Shaw with his ideas of allowing the “lesser mortals” to be waltzed away to a “humane” end – gassed whilst listening to classical music. And someone above attributed Marx’s observation that “…religion is the opiate of the masses…” to VI Lenin. Oops! Well, now, Karl, Vlad – you two were busy boys and let’s see – how many met their deaths via your infallible wisdom? Uh, 100,000,000 in about 75 years alone, yes? Wow! That’s impressive!!! Stalin shipped a bunch of deadbeats to Poland (don’t you just hate it when the rabble get in the way of your Utopian plans?) and allowed his buddy, Adolph to – oh my! – waltz them off to the zyklon b gas chambers to the soothing tones of a string quartet (or Wagner – all good!).

    If there is no God, then “rights” come from – the state? Oh yes – that’s all worked out so well.

    Sarcasm off.

  92. Laughingmyassoff Says:

    Now that you jerks know these words were originally uttered by the great liberal icon Earl Warren don’t you all want to crawl under a rock. I just love it when I see you libs get all nutsey and make fools of yourselves. HAHAHA, keep it up, it shows how stupid you really are.

  93. Beverly Kurtin Says:

    Cytocop, thanks for your good wishes for my recovery. In addition to spinal arthritis (a family trait) I’ve a torn rotator cuff that won’t let me get rest and just for grins, my doc sent me to a sleep test and WOW, I’m waking up 84 times an hour. Even Fentanyl doesn’t touch the pain. But all of that aside…I have no problems with people who worship different than me; that is the beauty of this country, may Gd bless and protect her forever. I judge nobody. If they want to pray to who or whatever, that is their business. But the millisecond they demand I adopt their religion is the millisecond I lash out in whatever manner I can.

    Those who think that this is a Christian country are ignorant and unAmerican. Let me repeat myself: Those who think this is a Christian country are ignorant and unAmerican.

    Does that mean that I don’t like those who call themselves Christian? Of course not; I’d be unAmerican to have that view. As the old saying goes, “Some of my best friends are Christians.”

    Getting back to the red letter editions of the Christian books, I rather like them because it makes it easier to prove that virtually everything that Jesus said are direct quotes from the Tenach, the Jewish Scriptures which makes sense because Jesus was a Jewish scholar. Based on that truth, the United States is based on Jewish law…which it is.

    But once again, Christians are taught that they MUST be Christian or they will spend eternity in a burning hell. Hell does not appear anywhere in Tenach; it is a Greek invention. So it is essentially a fire escape religion. That’s fine by me, I don’t buy it. And with that, I’m done; I’ve said about everything that I care to say. Just keep the seven Noahide laws and you might be surprised who you see in the world to come.

  94. JimboElrod Says:

    Wow. Lot of paranoid schizophrenics posting here. All you who think your civil rights are being trampled on, or that you’re being “disenfranchised” because someone offered to pray for you, no body is forcing you to listen. Stick your head back where the sun don’t shine (if it ever was removed from that place) and you won’t have to listen to it. Unlike pubic education, where kids ARE forced to listen to bulls**t like anthropogenic global warming, evolution, etc, etc, etc.

  95. Bill Says:

    Time
    Religion: Breakfast in Washington
    Monday, Feb. 15, 1954

    In an assembly room of Washington’s Mayflower Hotel one morning last week gathered a group of 600. The President of the United States was there. So were the Vice President, the Chief Justice of the United States, Cabinet members, Congressmen, diplomats, businessmen. They ate a sturdy breakfast (grapefruit, scrambled eggs, sausage, ham, hominy grits and gravy). Then the chairman of the meeting, Republican Senator Frank Carlson of Kansas, called order, and the annual prayer breakfast of the International Council for Christian Leadership got down to its purpose.

    “This morning,” said Baptist Carlson, “we are here to renew our faith and our commitment to God.” In the next half-hour, half a dozen notables rose to their feet. Wisconsin Senator Alexander Wiley, a Lutheran, read from the First Psalm (“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly . . .”). Vice President Nixon, a Quaker, read from the 15th chapter of John (“This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you . . .”). Hotelman Conrad Hilton, their host, a Roman Catholic, told them: “It took a war and the frightening evil of Communism to show the world that this whole business of prayer is not a sissy, a counterfeit thing . . . Rather it is a part of man’s personality, without which he limps.”

    The last speaker was Chief Justice Earl Warren, who was raised a Methodist, now frequently attends Baptist services with his wife. “I believe no one can read the history of our country,” he said, “without realizing that the Good Book and the spirit of the Saviour have from the beginning been our guiding geniuses . . . Whether we look to the first Charter of Virginia . . . or to the Charter of New England . . . or to the Charter of Massachusetts Bay . . . or to the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut . . . the same objective is present: a Christian land governed by Christian principles . . .

    “I believe the entire Bill of Rights came into being because of the knowledge our forefathers had of the Bible and their belief in it: freedom of belief, of expression, of assembly, of petition, the dignity of the individual, the sanctity of the home, equal justice under law, and the reservation of powers to the people . . . “I like to believe we are living today in the spirit of the Christian religion. I like also to believe that as long as we do so, no great harm can come to our country.”

    Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,936197,00.html#ixzz0pNpBaLaX

  96. Melanie Says:

    Whether some people want to believe it or not, we are a nation founded on God and christian ideals. Ideals of love and acceptance that has paved the way for the US to become the greatest nation in history. If someone really wants to know the origin of “separation of church and state”, read the 1936 Soviet constitution. Our doctrine is one that is supposed to offer the church freedom from government control and oppression.

  97. Ken Idaho Says:

    It sure seems odd that you incorperate the word “freedom” in the name of your group; yet you would ban any references to religeon, you would ban the FACT that our nation was founded on christian principles; you would ban any references to the words “Jesus, Christ, and God, and you would ban the saying of any prayers; in short you would take away my (our) FREEDOM OF SPEECH. So I’m curious as to how you can possibly use the word “freedom” in the name of your organization, and take away my “FREEDOM OF SPEECH”.

    I don’t care if your an athiest or not; nor do I care if you wish to try to convince others to be athiests; WHY ARE YOU SO FREIGHTENED WITH RELIGION AND WISH TO PREVENT ME FROM TALKING ABOUT IT? Your lack of belief and your determination to abollish all forms of religeon and prevent anyone from even mentioning it sure do remind me of NAZISIM AND COMMUNISM. All of you are freaking nutcases!
    Ken in Idaho
    An agnostic

  98. Terry Johnson Says:

    It is amazing that if you look at the founding of our country you will see the Bible all through the founding fathers. In fact many of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were ministers. They knew Jesus as their Lord and Savior. It is amazing that people criticizing this invocation did not know that Chief Justice Warren had penned those words. People might want to investigate for themselves the claims of Jesus, and look at the history of our country for themselves. If liberals can be so wrong about their favorite justice, what else are they wrong about?
    Just a thought….

  99. TFN Says:

    A word of caution: leave out profanity and personal attacks if you want your post approved. We have deleted one this morning. For regular TFN Insider visitors, you’re seeing a flood of critical comments today because WorldNetDaily, a far-right website, linked to our post about Cynthia Dunbar’s prayer at the May 21 Texas State Board of Education meeting. And for the WND visitors, we have addressed Dunbar’s selective recall of history relevant to Chief Justice Earl Warren and separation of church and state here.

  100. E pluribus unum Says:

    Jefferson’s quote, “Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the common law”, has no relevance in American History because this quote was taken from writings he sent to Dr. Thomas Cooper, in which he wrote about English (British) Common Law. Jefferson was not referring to any law(s) of the United States, although it is widely and conveniently misinterpreted as such.

    In fact Jefferson concluded the Ten Commandments should not be part of the ‘Common Law of England’ because “they were never made so by legislative authority”. Jefferson did not conclude “separation of church and state” as a basis for his findings, simply put he said the British Parliament never adopted the Ten Commandments as part of common law, therefore the Ten Commandments could not be used in findings or judgments rendered in British Courts.

    “Separation of church and state” is nothing more than a convenient misinterpretation of Jefferson’s writing. And the history Texas wants to put back into their text books is in fact history, whether you like it or not, and was taught in schools throughout this nation prior to the early 1900’s.

    And for those who believe the revised version of American History, thus believing our Nation was not founded on the principles of Christianity, check out these quotes from George Washington.

    “While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian.” (General Orders, Valley Forge, May 2, 1778)

    “You do well to wish to learn our arts and ways of life, and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ.” (Speech to the Delaware Chiefs, New Jersey, June 2, 1779)

    In March 1776, the Continental Congress agreed to the following resolution for appointing a fast, which in part read:

    …Do earnestly recommend, that Friday, the Seventeenth day of May next, be observed by the said colonies as a day of humiliation, fasting, and prayer; that we may, with united hearts, confess and bewail our manifold sins and transgressions, and, by a sincere repentance and amendment of life, appease his righteous displeasure, and through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, obtain his pardon and forgiveness…

    Fact is truth, whether omitted or ignored, the facts about our nation remains the same.

  101. Snitch in Time Says:

    Well history triumphed over progressive mythology and liberal ignorance. The left has produced 143 million innocent people murdered by the various and diverse left wing despotic regimes that progressive ideology produces. Left wingers continually whine about fascism returning but the left in the United States poses the only credible threat of a fascist revival. Three cheers for the School Board of Texas as they route and defeat the forces of ignorance that have so long poisoned the minds of American children. History may prove that these courageous patriots did the American people a great service in preventing the horrors of liberal genocide being visited on the American people. Now to get on to the next phase of the program which is to expose liberalism as the engine of genocidal murder that history proves it to be. Once the young realize that liberals in their Fascist or Marxist incarnations are the heavy weight title holders when it comes to producing genocidal criminal regimes, liberalism will be doomed. That day cannot come soon enough.

  102. stoneha Says:

    If you people would just stay out of other’s business, this would be a better world. If you want to pray, than pray to yourself to whom you believe in or not. We are supposed to be free in this country, but someone is always trying to force their believes on everyone. Let me live the way I want to and leave it alone. I will say “Merry Christmas” and not “Happy Holidays”. I have never said anything about the way people live their lives. So stop trying to live mine. If you do not like to live as an American, than get out. Go somewhere that you will be happy, I do not care. Just live your life as you want and leave everyone else alone. Do not push your way of life on me and we both will be happy. The British say,”God Save the Queen”, I will say,”God Bless America”. I believe in what I want to and you can do the same, just do not “TREAD ON ME”.

  103. Snitch in Time Says:

    Bevery I am amazed! You go to great lengths to prove Messiah Yeshua (Christ Jesus) was a Jew, yet when Yeshua teaches about hell, you try to declare it a Greek concept. You cannot have it both ways. Now as to your claim that the United States owes a great debt to the Tanakh you will not get any disagreement from me. The United States, as constructed by its founders, was based upon the Judeo-Christian worldview which would be recognizable to Torah obedient Jews as well as Bible believing Christians. I suggest you go back and do more than a superficial reading of the words of that 1st century itinerant Rabbi named Yeshua. But take care, as C.S. Lewis warned the atheists, anyone wishing to remain opposed to the Judeo-Christinan worldview has to be very careful of their reading material. There are traps everywhere! G-d is persistent, cunning and clever in his goal of leading humans to their Messiah, Savior and King.

    Now to put a fine point on it: The best that can be said of the progressive liberalism that infects the thinking of AFN’s supporters is that it tries to build utopia by means of forcing men to surrender their rights. The conservative program, based on Judeo-Christian principles, offers a different plan, namely that society will be bettered by keeping our rights and giving up our wrongs. The latter is, as I read history, the only plan with any proven track record of succes when it come to producing and defending human Liberty.

  104. Charles Says:

    My family and I are Christians who are members of the United Methodist Church. Now, I know you do not like that church and believe it is an apostate church that does not believe in the Bible. I think you are wrong about that, but you have a right to believe it anyway. When you take over the United States government and establish a Bible-believing theocracy, which seems a fairly likely possibility to me right now, it will be necessary for all of you to eliminate those people you choose to define as the enemies of God. That has always been the first impulse of triumph throughout human history, and I suspect that it will be no different with you. You make that utterly clear with the white-hot hatred that seethes from your messages above. However, I suspect you would say that this hatred is nothing more than the righteous indignation of the Holy Spirit that lives within you—and therein lies the problem.

    My KJV Bible says the following:

    “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2: 10-11). My family and I have already done that, and we hope to do it day-after-day forever and ever. Jesus alone will decide if we have that opportunity–not you. However, I would submit that you people have another problem. You are so convinced of your own personal righteousness that you have ceased to be the frail and fallable humans that you are. Instead, you have set yourselves up as the “only righteous and true representatives of God left on Earth.” It takes a lot of sinful pride and personal spiritual arrogance to take such a position. However, now that you have taken it, you wish to believe that the entire population of the United States should bow down before you first—rather than Jesus Christ himself. You wish to take over the United States government and show everyone what nice little “minigods” you have become. Moreover, you would use the power of the goverment to force everyone to believe as you do—because afterall—you are God’s chosen people.

    Well, I shall have none of it and none of your so-called Christian nationalism. I believe all of you Christian fundamentalists and Christian Neo-Fundamentalists who have shown up here are fallible human beings who have lost touch with the fact that (although perhaps saved by grace through Jesus Christ—only He can judge) you too ALL still stand within the circle of sin and personal failure like everyone else on this planet. You are fallible—each and every one of you. You are neither God nor “minigods.” You are human beings. You can and do make lost of mistakes each day of your life. You are still capable of terrible mistakes and horrifying cruelty. Therefore, I put no trust in you, your righteousness, or your ability to govern lovingly and justly as Jesus would.

    Therefore, my family and I shall bow down before the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit ONLY. We shall not bow down to any Christian fundamentalist political regime that you might choose to establish. We shall oppose your efforts to establish such a governmental regime in all ways that are possible short of violence. I feel fairly certain that you people will eventually torture and kill both me and my family when you come into your new Earthly political kingdom. When that time comes, we will have no recourse other than praying for you people and for your deliverance from the rancid political madness that Satan has visited upon your hearts and minds.

  105. Lt Dan Says:

    I’ve never seen a site as far left, (anti-Christian, secular humanist, radical atheist, pro-socialist, and selectively ignorant of true history) bubbling up from the sewers of the People’s Republic of Austin/ UT) in the state of Texas. The First Amendment says- freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. (The Atheist are a religious group as of 1964 : Madelyn Murry O’Hara). Sit down and shut up! Tolerate the Jesus Freaks and maybe you won’t end up in some body’s rifle sites. Those guys are not as peaceful as they profess, but certainly more so than the average leftest or any devout Muslin. Words don’t kill, bullets do. We ARE on the verge of a civil war, so don’t provoke the folks that out number you all by about 50 to 1 (at least in this state). I predict there will be blood, before BHO’s term ends, probably from the Left, or from BHO’s goons from SEIU or ACORN, see that you don’t get caught in the back lash.
    P.S. I have been correct on my prognostications about 80% of the time during the last 10 years, ( unfortunately).

  106. TFN Says:

    We hear threats of violence and civil war from the right more and more. Much of it is clearly intended to intimidate. Very sad that respect for the democratic process is so low on the right these days.

  107. Charles Says:

    You said it TFN.

    I am an American citizen too. This is MY country every bit as much as it is theirs. My white Anglo-Saxon protestant family was in this country for nearly 100 years before 1776, and I have the documents to prove it. I and my family are not going to be intimidated by this two-bit, right wing rabble and its totalitarian Christofacist agenda.

    Ronald Reagan’s close friend Jack Matlock said it best. Jack helped Reagan bring down the Soviet Union, and I was good friends with Jack’s son when I was growing up. Jack is no liberal. The right wing extremist rabble that showed up here this afternoon would do themselves good to stand in front of the mirror that Jack provides in the following quote and take a good, long look at themselves, as would the members of the extreme left, which does not include the middle-roaders here at TFN. Here is Jack Matlock’s money quote:

    “I don’t see much difference between a communist regime and a fascist regime. In fact, I think one of the greatest intellectual confusions that many have had over these decades is the whole right and left thing — fascists are on the right, communists are on the left. Nonsense! They come together and overlap, and we’re seeing this in Russia today where the allies are the nationalistic chauvinists and the communists. They are natural allies because they are authoritarians by nature. And more than authoritarians, they tend to be totalitarians, which means that they tend to destroy all of the elements of the civil society. To me that’s much more important than whether you’re philosophically right or left. You know, are you willing to create and live in a civil society, in an open society, or not? That to me is the basic issue.”

    Read about Jack Matlock:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_F._Matlock,_Jr.

  108. Beverly Kurtin Says:

    Charles, the last thing I would do is knock your church; the UMC does a lot of good works, more than what some other churches do. They talk a good talk, then do zilch.

    HOWEVER. your KVJ, like most Christian books ignores the Jewish scriptures that gives GD the glory. Gd does not become a human being nor does a human being ever become God.

    Throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, there is a sharp contrast made between God on one hand, and human beings on the other. First of all, there is always a reprimand against any human being who claims to be God, or Divine, as we read in Ezekiel 28:2:

    Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Eternal God; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a god, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God:

    Then there is the verse from Hosea in which God specifically tells us that God is not a human being:

    I will not execute the fierceness of mine anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God, and not a man; the Holy One in the midst of thee: and I will not enter into the city. [Hosea 11:9]

    And then there is another verse, in Numbers 23:19, where God specifically tells us that if God were a human being, then he would be a liar, as all human beings do lie on occasion. Furthermore, this verse tell us that if God were a human being, he would be in need of repentance because all human beings sin at some point in their lives. Finally, this verse also tells us that if God were a human being, then he would make promises, but not keep them:

    God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the Son of Man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? [Numbers 23:19]

    God is the same, God does not lie, and God is God and Human Beings are Human Beings, and God does not become a Human Being, and Human Beings do not become gods. (www.whatjewsbelieve.org)

    Once again, Christianity was started by Paul of Tarsus, NOT by Jesus called the Messiah. According to Jewish scriptures (the Tenach) the Messiah will be born by a normal woman with a normal man by normal process. He will live a normal life and will die and be buried. BUT he will some how bring about world peace.

    Again, I respect the Christian point of view, but Jesus never said he was the Messiah; Paul declared that he was after Jesus’ death. Jesus was not the first person to be declared to be born of a virgin; but as we all know, none of them ever brought the world to peace and neither did Jesus.

    If you can find a copy of the Newberry Reference Bible (Kregel Publishing, Grand Rapids, MI) it will show that God is God and there is no other beside him.

    Because of the Seven Noahide commandments, which most Christians and Jews and other religions most people will find themselves where they least expect to find themselves.

    With deep respect…Bev

  109. Charles Says:

    Dear Bev,

    I do not come to TFN to debate whether someone’s religious beliefs are right or wrong. Arguments like that go nowhere and only end in bad feelings. I respect your right to believe what you believe and expect the same. My sole purpose here is to keep the Rushdoonyites from screwing up Texas totally and taking over the United States, in which case none of us will have our freedom or the right to believe anything except what we are told to believe at the end of someone’s gun. I know you Jewish folks have been there and done that more times than you would like to talk about. Personally, I have never been at the end of that same gun and would appreciate an opportunity to avoid it all together. If we work together, maybe we can stop them next time. If not, you can have my daily crust of molded bread in the barracks. Deal?

  110. David Says:

    Hi, I’ve been away from a computer the last few days. Amazing. Notice how we’ve suddenly picked up some “trolls” (I think I”m using that word correctly) who are going to dispute our faith and our support of our country, etc. That’s definitely the proof of TFN’s success.
    I recommend to the radical religious right wing out there, keep posting your craziness. It’s entertaining.
    Charles, I’m glad to hear you’re UMC. It’s the one organized group I might join someday. Maybe not the only one, but it’s representative of a few.
    Beverly, you’re going to have to decide whether you want to preserve freedom of religion, which protects your right to be “right”, or whether you want to impose “rightness” as a test for individual religious faith, in which you will have to do battle with Jehovah’s Witnesses, Prespytarians, and Snake Handler/Holiness churches, etc. for who’s certified by the state to be “right”, and therefore be given power to decide what’s in the official state textbooks for kids.

  111. Beverly Kurtin Says:

    Deal.

    Now about one of the worst presidents we’ve ever had: Ronald Reagan.

    Why the worst? Primarily because he did his best to deregulate the S&L industry. As a senior commercial real estate analyst I predicted that without regulation GREED would wipe out the industry. I was only 3 days off on my prediction.

    I watched worthless property flipped five, six and sometimes up to ten times a DAY. A swamp in Collin County started the day selling for about $2,500 and before the end of the day some poor schmuck had bought it for $35,000 and then trading stopped leaving the last buyer owing totally worthless property. Yeah, he got bit by the greed factor, but it bankrupted him.

    The company I worked for sold information to commercial real estate sales companies. They couldn’t pay their bills. I found myself without a job and at my age then I had to compete with college girls who would work for next to nothing. Fortunately I’m enough of an entrepreneur that I opened my own business making at least what I made at the company I’d worked for.

    Thanks, Mr. Reagan; you had an opportunity to improve the economy and you blew it.”He may have been a likable guy, but his “tinkle down” theories stunk to the high heavens.

    Ciao

  112. David Says:

    I agree with your low assessment of RR, (emphasis on the first syllable, “ass-“), however GB was worse.
    Charles, Rand Paul is an expression of white backlash against blacks that is really propagated by the brainwashing of Wall Street and corporate feudalism.
    Also, all of the “nationalist” movements that arise that fear “one world government” are really products of these global corporate giants that don’t want to see human society develop the capacity to deal with their mass rape and exploitation.

    No, I’m not a Marxist. No way. Look at Communist China. They’re the worst of them all.

  113. Beverly Kurtin Says:

    David, there is no right or wrong when it comes to religion. I don’t want to force anyone to believe what I do and vice versa, although going back through some of my previous comments, I can see where I have not properly presented my thoughts and in some cases even I confused myself . It’s a good thing that I don’t hold myself out to be an expert.

    All I want is freedom OF and FROM religion.

    Several years ago the “silent majority” who were neither silent nor a majority started a movement to get radical Christians into positions of power. I worked with some organizations who tried to educate people about what was being planned. We were dismissed as “nuts” the way some folks are dissing TFN. And now what do we have? Yup.

    GB and his president, Cheney…why are they not in federal prison? I love that some of the people who impeached Bill Clinton have wound up in their own infidelities.

    Bill left us with a surplus. Shrub decided to attempt to emulate RR in giving a big (HUGE) tax break, so he did, totally tossing us into a debt that the GOP (God’s Own Party?) it attempting to lay in the lap of President Obama. I sometimes wonder if the Republicans are embarrassed that their parents chose to never marry.

    Thanks for correcting me, David. I used to have a sign over the desk in my office: Accuracy is my Misteak, I never make Mottos.”

  114. Vicki Reyna Says:

    This prayer you were so upset about was a direct quote from a prayer recited by the very liberal Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren!!! With all of the trouble this nation is in right now, why on earth do you have a problem with someone praying for it???

  115. TFN Says:

    “Why on earth do you have a problem with someone praying for it???”

    We don’t.

  116. Lt Dan Says:

    TFN like most lefties believe that I am a right winger- I am not, I am a combat veteran, I have seen sectarian violence first hand. I have endured real acts of terrorism for the last 20 years. My advice was as objective and realistic based on my experience I can make. One question, why does the left always fire the first shot that starts a war that destroys themselves?
    The situation we have now is a lot like the English Civil War, We are ruled by an elite group of the enlightened, privileged and tax supported, who rule by divine right. When the Cavalier meet those bible thumping troglodyte Round Heads what happens? Charles II found out.
    Nazi, Fascist, Communist, They do all have one thing in common- total government- total centralized power- total violence.

  117. Bob Tatum Says:

    Why is it so hard for you people to believe that there is a God and that we need Him to guide and direct us? The devil has you so blinded by stupidity that he (satan) sits back and laughs!!! He laughs because you play right into his hands, one day and very soon you will see! I do not hate you or anyone that disagrees with me or the so called far-right as you call us. You say we are forcing our religion on you or that we are preaching hate and bigotry. You are the one’s that spout hate and bigotry. I just want to serve my God, to pray, praise and worship Him the way I see fit! If you don’t believe in God the creator and savior, fine but leave me alone. Home school your kids, we have to! Look where we are today because of your thinking. We (christian came to this new world so we could worship God the way we want to!!! Why did you follow? Go back where you came from, America would be a better place, GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!!

  118. Ben Says:

    Vicki, go ahead and pray all you want. Nobody is stopping you. I know I would never stop you, and I’m an atheist. Nor would Charles or David or several of the regular Christian commenters stop you. TFN certainly wouldn’t stop you. Pray, pray, and pray some more.

  119. John Beene Says:

    Looks like the Texas Stupid Virus may not be contagious.

    Texas textbooks are unlikely to spread
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jokmIAwsqG7ypo567h2KHAApqdUAD9G20UN00

  120. Ben Says:

    “Why is it so hard for you people to believe that there is a God and that we need Him to guide and direct us?”

    Most of the commenters here believe in one god or another. Don’t you read the comments?

    “The devil has you so blinded by stupidity that he (satan) sits back and laughs!!!”

    If you have evidence of this, please provide it.

    “He laughs because you play right into his hands, one day and very soon you will see!”

    When members of other religions tell you that some supernatural entity is going to punish you, do you believe them?

    “I do not hate you or anyone that disagrees with me or the so called far-right as you call us. You say we are forcing our religion on you or that we are preaching hate and bigotry. You are the one’s that spout hate and bigotry. I just want to serve my God, to pray, praise and worship Him the way I see fit!”

    Go right ahead. If I could somehow stop you, that would be a pretty weak god you’re worshipping. I want you (and everybody else) to have all the religious freedom you could possibly want. Accomplishing that goal requires separation of religion and state.

    “If you don’t believe in God the creator and savior, fine but leave me alone.”

    Goes both ways.

    “Home school your kids, we have to! Look where we are today because of your thinking. We (christian came to this new world so we could worship God the way we want to!!!”

    Or not worship. Or worship some other god. It’s called religious freedom. It’s a bedrock principle of the Constitution. Do you suggest we should quit following the Constitution?

    “Why did you follow? Go back where you came from, America would be a better place,”

    I came from Texas. Born here, never left. This kind of love-it-or-leave-it attitude is just stupid. It would be just as easy for me to tell you to leave. Are you planning to leave? No? Well, neither am I.

    “GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!!”

    Plenty of commenters here say the same thing. Why do you think your opinions or beliefs are any more important than theirs, or mine?

  121. Charles Says:

    Ben.

    I took a brief spin over to the WorlddNetDaily blog site just to see what is going on over there. Someone’s standard marketing survey has determined that a large market share of the people who frequent that site are preparing for a shooting war or some other kind of cultural catclysm. I base that on the advertisements I saw from various companies and organizations. I didn’t bother to memorize all the ads, but a lot of them were stuff like, “Will your family have enough water to survive the coming U.S. cultural Armageddon? Try our unique water storage system free for one month.” I just looked at it and thought, “Gosh, these people must be in need of pyschotherapy or something.” It reminded me of the Adkisson Manifesto.

  122. Charles Says:

    Vicki Reyna, Lt Dan, Bob Tatum, and all of you other folks from World Net Daily. Welcome to TFN.

    I would like for you to read the following document that I have stored on my computer here at home and tell me what you think about it. This document was recently published in its entirety by a major conservative Republican newspaper (analagous to the Washington Times) that serves about 1.2 million people here in the American South. Please read it and let me know what you think of its contents. Do you feel the same way? Do you agree with the writer or disagree? Here it is:

    The Adkisson Manifesto

    To whom it May concern:

    I guess you’re wondering why I did this. Well let me explain in detail. Over the years I’ve had some good jobs, but I always got Layed off. Now I’m 58 years old + I can’t get a decent job. I’m told I’m “overqualified,” which is a code word for “too damned old.” Like I’m expected to age gracefully into poverty. No thanks! I’m done!

    I’ve always wondered why I was put on the earth. For years I thought I was put here to die as cannon fodder in Viet Nam but somehow cheated the devil out of it. Lately I’ve been feeling helpless in our War on Terrorism. But I realized I could engage the terrorists allies here in America. The best allies they’ve got.

    The Democrats! The democrates have done everything they can do to tie our hands in this War on Terror. They’re all abunch of traitors. They want America to loose this war for reasons I can not understand. It makes me soooo mad!

    In a parallel train of thought, It saddens me to think back on all the bad things that Liberalism has done to this country. The worst problem America faces today is Liberalism. They have dumbed down education, they have defined deviancy down. Liberals have attacked every major institution that made America great. From the Boy Scouts to the Military, from education to Religion. The Major News outlets have become the propaganda arm of the Democrat Party. Liberals are evil, they embrace the tenets of Karl Marx, they’re Marxist, socialist, communists.

    The Unitarian Universalist Church.

    Don’t let the word church mislead you. This isn’t a church, it’s a cult. They don’t even believe in God. They worship the God of Secularizm. These sick people aren’t Liberals, they’re Ultra-Liberals. This is a collection of sicko’s; weirdo’s; + homo’s The UU church is the Fountainhead, the veritable wellspring of anti-American organizations like Moveon.org, Code Pink, and other un-American groups. Those people are absolute hypocrits. They embrace every pervert that comes down the pike, but if they find out your a conservative, they absolutly Hate you. I know. I experienced it. I can’t, for the life of me, understand why these people would embrace Marxism like they do. Id like someone to do an exposé on this church, it’s a den of un-American Vipers. They call themselves “Progressive.” How is a white woman having a niger baby progress? How is a man sticking his dick up another man’s ass progress? It’s an abomination. It takes a warped mind to hate America. It makes me so angry! I can’t live with it anymore! The environmental nuts have to be stopped!

    I. Know This If Nothing Else

    This was a hate Crime: I hate the damn left-wing Liberals. There is a vast left-wing conspiracy in this country + these liberals are working together to attack every decent + honorable institution in the Nation, trying to turn this country into a communist state. Shame on them.

    II. This was a Political Protest: Im protesting the liberal Supreme Court Justices for give the terrorists at Gitmo constitutional rights. Im protesting the major News outlets, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, PBS for being the propaganda wing of the Democrat Party. It’s criminal what they’re getting away with. They’re traitors! They must be stopped. Im protesting the DNC running such a radical leftist candidate. Osama Hussein OBama, yo Mama. No experience. No brains, a joke. Dangerous to America. Hell, he looks like Curious George!

    III. This was a Symbolic Killing: Who I wanted to kill was every Democrat in the Senate., + House, the 100 people in Bernard Goldbergs book. Id like to kill everyone in the Mainstream Media. But I knew these people were inaccessible to me. I couldn’t get to the generals + high ranking officers of the Marxist Movement so I went after the foot soldiers, the chicken shit liberals that vote in these traitorous people. Some one had to get the ball rolling. I volunteered. I hope others do the same, it’s the only way we can rid America of this cancerthis pestilence!

    In Conclusion:

    No one gets out of this world alive so I’ve chosen to skip the bad years of poverty. I know my life is going downhill fast from here. The future Looks bleak. I’m sick + tired of being sick + tired, I’m absolutely fed up.

    So I thought I’d do something good for this Country Kill Democrats ‘til the cops kill me. If decent patriotic Americans could vote 3 times in every election we couldn’t stem this tide of liberalism that’s destroying America. Liberals are a pest like termites. Millions of them. Each little bite contributes to the downfall of this great nation. The only way we can rid ourselves of this evil is Kill them in the streets. Kill them where they gather.

    Id like to encourage other like minded people to do what I’ve done. If life aint worth living anymore don’t just kill yourself. do something for your Country before you go. Go Kill Liberals.

    Tell the cop that killed me that I said, “Thanks, I needed that!”

    I have no next of kin. No living relatives. If you would take my sorry carcass to the body farm, or donate it to science, or just throw me in the Tennessee River.

    Sincerely

    Jim David Adkisson

  123. Ben Says:

    Gonna have to start me one a them crisis gardens and stock up on canned vittles, cause them dang libruls is coming for my guns. Don’t matter that they ain’t got no guns a their own. They got mind control or some such, being heathens and blasphemers and all.

  124. David Says:

    Here’s an example of their threatening from Lt. Dan:
    “One question, why does the left always fire the first shot that starts a war that destroys themselves?”

    They can feel the reality that they’re going to lose this cultural/political battle by civil means, voting, public opinion, etc. , so they’re looking for an excuse to get their guns out and start shooting “the left” (women, blacks, gays, non-evangelicals, hispanics, etc.).
    Most of these guys consider them defenders of the Christian faith, but the fact is, they’re not all that holy. They don’t even bother to set aside the sabbath for observance of their faith. The primary focus is the NFL. They’re a bunch of hypocrites and they know that their faith is weak, so they try to make up for it by making other people believe their crap.
    They buy their guns and their camo fashion, their manly costumes, and they go out and play army and shoot at stuff that can’t shoot back. They “hunt deer” but the vast majority of them don’t even like deer meat, so they leave venison sausage sitting in the freezer for years at a time, etc.
    They want to have an excuse to shoot someone. That’s all.
    They’re gun fetishists.
    Gun worshippers.
    Cowards.

    The gun and ammo manufacturers and dealers, etc. have no shame in stimulating their paranoia. Likewise the right wing politicians who are pandering to them.

    The nazis and fascists came to power because the industrial giants of their countries supported them. The communists quickly became enslaved to their own military industrial complex.

    Lt. Dan, you’ve drunk the koolaid.

  125. Charles Says:

    Well, it appears to me that the WorldNetDaily follower’s attention span is extremely short. Late yesterday afternoon, just as their posts were ceasing to show up here, the story about TFN and Dunbar was almost ready to roll off their main page and into oblivion.

    What a strange and odd lot of people?

  126. Hobart Says:

    God Bless America!!

  127. Hobart Says:

    ” I believe that the Bible is the best gift God has ever given to man. All the good from The Saviour of the world is communicated to us through this book.” Abraham Lincoln

    “The Bible is worth all the other books which have ever been printed.” Patrick Henry

    “If there is anything in my thoughts or style to commend, the credit is due to my parents for instilling in me an early love of the Scriptures.” Daniel Webster

    “The Bible is the sheet-anchor of our liberties.” Ulysses S. Grant

    “The whole of hope of human progress is suspended on the ever growing influence of the Bible.’ W. H. Seward

    “In all my perplexities and distresses, the Bible has never hailed to give me light and strength.” Robert E. Lee

    “So great is my veneration for the Bible that the earlier my children begin to read it the more confident will be my hope that they will prove useful citizens of their country and respectable members of society. John Q. Adams

    “The New Testament is the very book that ever was or ever will be known in the world.” Charles Dickens

    “No man has power to let another prescribe his faith. Faith is not faith without believing.” Thomas Jefferson, “Notes on Religion”

    “Washington, the brave, the wise, the good, … The hero, the patriot, the Christian, … And in the hope of religion, immortality” Inscription on President Washington’s tomb

    “In the whole history of mankind, far back into the dim past before man knew how to record thoughts or events, the human race has been distinguished form other forms of life by the existence – the fact – of religion. Periodic attempts to deny God have always come and will always come to naught. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt

    ” that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg address

    All these quotes are from “A Treasury of Wisdom and Inspiration, The World’s Greatest Quotations for Every Purpose and Occasion”, David St. Leger, New American Library, 1954, LOC Cat No. 54-7676

  128. David Says:

    See, Hobart? Your own quotes prove exactly what we’re about here.
    Secular government has allowed Christianity to flourish. There’s no reason to change that and establish a “State Religion”.

  129. Lt Dan Says:

    The first thing I learned in combat was respect, respect your chain of command, your buddy; but first and foremost your enemy. You surely had the motivation and right to hate him and took every opportunity to kill or capture him, but you never dehumanized him. That would the first step in the underestimation of his ability and will. To do so was deadly. Is the progressive cause so holy and without fault it’s policies and practices can not be challenged? Are all your opponents due the characterization of being stupid, reactionary, knuckle dragging neanderthals, inbred halfwit Bible thumping fools? The “progressive” I have seen hurl an insult each and every time they are challenged in any way; racist, homophobes, pig, ignorant etc. Passion is the opposite of reason, and most of the arguments I have read are as shallow an the wing nuts they disparage. The left ignores history. I reiterate I am not a right winger, I noted that the king of the Cavaliers, Charles II, lost his head for being a traitor and a tyrant, but the rule of Cromwell was just as brutal and intrusive. I am a libertarian, the hard thing about liberty is that you can’t take it unless you are willing to give it. The progressive cause has had its high water mark last year when BHO was sworn in, as they loss power they will increase in militancy and if my experience is a measure of reality, Violence.

  130. TFN Says:

    Lt Dan,
    You wrote: “Are all your opponents due the characterization of being stupid, reactionary, knuckle dragging neanderthals, inbred halfwit Bible thumping fools? The ‘progressive’ I have seen hurl an insult each and every time they are challenged in any way; racist, homophobes, pig, ignorant etc. Passion is the opposite of reason, and most of the arguments I have read are as shallow an the wing nuts they disparage.”

    Yet just last week you wrote this:
    “I’ve never seen a site as far left, (anti-Christian, secular humanist, radical atheist, pro-socialist, and selectively ignorant of true history) bubbling up from the sewers of the People’s Republic of Austin/ UT) in the state of Texas.”

    Physician, heal thyself. (Luke: 4:23)

  131. Ben Says:

    Lt Dan’s posts remind me of some of the emails that get forwarded by right-wingers—filled with a lot of vague claims, but little or no evidence to support any of it.

    Show us how this site is anti-Christian. The Christians here will be surprised.

    Show us how this site is pro-socialist.

    Show us how this site is selectively ignorant of “true” history.

    Go on. Back up your words.

    As far as secular humanism, read the following tenets and tell us which ones you have a problem with:

    —————
    What Is Secular Humanism?

    Secular Humanism is a term which has come into use in the last thirty years to describe a world view with the following elements and principles:

    A conviction that dogmas, ideologies and traditions, whether religious, political or social, must be weighed and tested by each individual and not simply accepted on faith.

    Commitment to the use of critical reason, factual evidence, and scientific methods of inquiry, rather than faith and mysticism, in seeking solutions to human problems and answers to important human questions.

    A primary concern with fulfillment, growth, and creativity for both the individual and humankind in general.
    A constant search for objective truth, with the understanding that new knowledge and experience constantly alter our imperfect perception of it.

    A concern for this life and a commitment to making it meaningful through better understanding of ourselves, our history, our intellectual and artistic achievements, and the outlooks of those who differ from us.

    A search for viable individual, social and political principles of ethical conduct, judging them on their ability to enhance human well-being and individual responsibility.

    A conviction that with reason, an open marketplace of ideas, good will, and tolerance, progress can be made in building a better world for ourselves and our children.

  132. Beverly Kurtin Says:

    I looked up some of the supposed quotes and guess what? They don’t exist. Some do, many don’t.

    For the life of me I can’t understand why there would BE a New Testament when Gd said, in Deuteronomy 12: 32 “See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it. ” Seems simple enough, DO NOT ADD TO IT OR TAKE AWAY FROM IT.

    These Scriptures speak very, very clearly. How is it, that so many “Christians” just disregard what Scripture says?

    Examples of adding to Scripture: Christmas, Easter, Lent, Sacraments, Infant Baptism…Nowhere in Scripture can these practices be found or commanded, let alone justified. But worse, they add to the Testament that Gd said, “Do NOT add or take away from it.”

    When was Deuteronomy written? When did Paul start writing the NT?

    When it comes to following Gd or Paul, I’ll take Gd, thank you very much.

    HOWEVER, this wonderful secular country gives each person the right to believe what they want and I support that as long as they don’t try to shove it down my throat.

  133. David Says:

    From Lt Dan

    The progressive cause has had its high water mark last year when BHO was sworn in, as they loss power they will increase in militancy and if my experience is a measure of reality, Violence.”
    It’s the right wingers that do all the threatening of violence and gun-fondling.
    It’s called projection.

  134. Cytocop CT(ASCP) Says:

    Whoa Nellie! What fine examples of Christian Love have we here. Makes me feel all warm & tingly to know we non-Christians are so well-loved.

    No, actually I was being sarcastic. Their messages scare the s**t out of me. From the words above, I see America is well on its way to becoming a Christian Theocracy. Christianity’s answer to the Islamic Republic of Iran. VERY well on its way. We see it in the meteoric rise of the ultra-conservative Wrong. Their most cherished goal is to bring a hellish Nazi-like state where non-Christians will be first urged (by Christian friends and neighbors), then cajoled and discriminated (jobs, job promotions, housing, etc), and then persecuted and threatened into conversion. At gun-point and probably in a concentration camp. As it was in the Crusades and the Inquisition: “Kiss the cross or kiss the sword.”

    The only question will be: Which Christianity will be doing this – as in which denomination will make it to the top of the Christian food chain? This relates to the Subject line at the top: Of which Christianity is this a Christian land? And by which Christian principles it is governed?

    Beverly, These words were directed at you: “I respect your right to believe what you believe….”

    See what I mean? Didn’t I predict this kind of reaction just a few days ago? This is always what happens in such conversations: we are dismissed and brushed aside with a verbal pat on the head. You have to remember, when speaking to a Christian, we are speaking different languages. It’s like talking to a wall. You were writing about what the Bible SAYS. To a Christian, what the Bible says means not a thing. To a Christian, it’s all about BELIEF. Belief is all that matters, not what the Bible says. To consider what the Bible SAYS is actually an unthinkable thing for them.

  135. Hobart Says:

    Dan, No, you misread my intent. I am showing that for the entire history of our nation our leaders loved and respected the laws given by God to humanity. They allowed their love and respect for God to permeate all aspects of government and education. They embraced Christianity and expected that the tenets handed to humanity by God and Jesus should continue to be taught. That God’s commandments were the law of the land. That no one questioned the full display of a fear and love of God in public and in government. God is everything to our nation and to its founders. There can be no possibility of eliminating God and religion from public life, whether in education or government.

  136. Charles Says:

    Hi Hobart. I am a Christian with a strong bend to the Baptist tradition in some ways—not all. I think you are missing the point here at TFN Insider. It was fine that our founding fathers and mothers believed in God and even voiced that opinion in their assorted writings. No one is complaining about a person having a right to believe something or voice it in an appropriate context.

    Up until 1979 when Satan’s minions took over the Southern Baptist Convention, one of the deepest and most fundamental principles of the Baptist faith was separation of religion and state. It started with Roger Williams when the Puritans kicked him out of Massachusetts for not “believing the right things.” He was a victim of persecution because the descendants of the Massachusetts Bay Colony founders had instituted an official state religion that everyone was required to support with taxes, practice in a specified way, and diffuse through the entire social and political structure of the colony. If you disagreed, you could be killed or tortured (legally) or be shunned from the colony. To quite a number of Christians other than you and most nonChristians in the United States, it appears to us that people like you want to turn the entire United States into what Massachusetts was back then.

    Separation of religion and state is in the constitution, and it is in there for a willfully decided reason. Our founding fathers knew that people of different religious convictions (including different Christian denominations) want to kill and torture the people who disagree with them—eventually—like in Northern Ireland. Leave them to their own devices without some check on it, and they will. If you do not believe me, just go to the website of a small Christian fundamentalist church sometime. They hate Billy Graham. They believe he has been a terrible influence on the Christian faith. I dare say many of the pastors at those churches would execute him—if they had the political power to do it. Fortunately they do not—yet.

    Never mind. I am stopping here. It is a waste of time and typing fingers to try to reason with you or explain anything to you. People like you are unreachable. Go ahead. Make your so-called “Bible-believing” form of Christianity the official national religion of the United States. That is what you want. Right? You want what you and your “kind” believe to pervade government and all of national life—while excluding what everyone else believes. Well, go ahead. Take over the government. Use the police and army to force everyone to believe and do exactly as you do. Board up the apostate churches you do not like. Board up the synagogues and mosques. Kill the atheists, agnostics, Catholics—and all of the other enemies of God (as defined by you). However, I will give one warning to you—one taught by world history. You will succeed only for a while until the oppression becomes so great that the people revolt against you. Then they will drag you and your preachers out into the streets and string you up by your heals like they did Mussolini and his teenage mistress. They will not be doing it because they hated God or Jesus first. They will be doing it because the horrors you will have unleashed—and the Bible will call it justice.

    So Hobart, as a fellow Christian, I have a message for you. Christians like me are going to work against Christians like you. There are millions upon millions of us out here. We disagree with your fundamentalist theology. You will never impose it on us. We will fight to the death to keep it from happening.

  137. Charles Says:

    Hobart:

    Please read this:

    http://www.discernment-ministries.org/ChristianImperialism.htm

  138. Lt Dan Says:

    In response to Hobart, as far as imperialist religions go, read the Koran, starting with the 82nd Surya. The Chose in Islam is conversion, being a despised and heavily taxed minority, or a rather gruesome death. The proof of your sites political orientations are so obvious that it has been eight days sense my statement was challenged. The Stateist demands security from the government, surrendering his liberty to the alter of the “collective”. I say “Where there is order, let there be chaos”.” Where there are rules and regulation, let there be civil disobedience on a massive scale”. Destroy the extra-constitutional federal government with the ballot and noncompliance.

  139. Charles Says:

    Message for Lt. Dan (some friendly reminders):

    From the U.S. Constitution:

    Section 3. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court. The Congress shall have power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted. An agreement between two or more persons to engage jointly in an unlawful or criminal act, or an act that is innocent in itself but becomes unlawful when done by the combination of actors.

    Conspiracy:

    Conspiracy is governed by statute in federal courts and most state courts. Before its Codification in state and federal statutes, the crime of conspiracy was simply an agreement to engage in an unlawful act with the intent to carry out the act. Federal statutes, and many state statutes, now require not only agreement and intent but also the commission of an Overt Act in furtherance of the agreement.

    Conspiracy is a crime separate from the criminal act for which it is developed. For example, one who conspires with another to commit Burglary and in fact commits the burglary can be charged with both conspiracy to commit burglary and burglary.

    Conspiracy is an inchoate, or preparatory, crime. It is similar to solicitation in that both crimes are committed by manifesting an intent to engage in a criminal act. It differs from solicitation in that conspiracy requires an agreement between two or more persons, whereas solicitation can be committed by one person alone.

    Conspiracy also resembles attempt. However, attempt, like solicitation, can be committed by a single person. On another level, conspiracy requires less than attempt. A conspiracy may exist before a crime is actually attempted, whereas no attempt charge will succeed unless the requisite attempt is made.

    The law seeks to punish conspiracy as a substantive crime separate from the intended crime because when two or more persons agree to commit a crime, the potential for criminal activity increases, and as a result, the danger to the public increases. Therefore, the very act of an agreement with criminal intent (along with an overt act, where required) is considered sufficiently dangerous to warrant charging conspiracy as an offense separate from the intended crime.

  140. Ben Says:

    “The proof of your sites political orientations are so obvious that it has been eight days sense my statement was challenged.”

    Huh?

    That makes no since to me. Uh, I mean sense.

  141. Ben Says:

    Charles is rocking and rolling.

  142. David Says:

    I am generally on the progressive side, however , I’m all for “conservative” ideas like less taxation, government staying out of people’s personal business, unless necessary, etc.

    I don’t see how capitalism is advanced as a socio-economic system by having government regulators watch porn and smoke meth while BP commits the worst environmental crime in history. Etc.

    This is what the people who are misidentifying themselves as “conservative” and “Christian” have wrought upon this nation.

    No, liberals are not perfect either. Most of our country’s problems are the cause of oscillation between “left” and “right” formulas rather than rational problem solving. Read “A Clockwork Orange”.

    Lt. Dan has either drunk the koolaid, or he’s trying to lay down a diversion for the main assault. ‘Cause it’s all smoke.

  143. Charles Says:

    Cake…

  144. Ben Says:

    Hobart and Lt Dan, see if you can guess the source of these quotes:

    “And in this hour we sink to our knees and beseech our almighty God that He may bless us, that He may give us the strength to carry on the struggle for the freedom, the future, the honor, and the peace of our people. So help us God.”

    “Secular schools can never be tolerated because such schools have no religious instruction, and a general moral instruction without religious foundation is built on air; consequently all character training and religion must be derived from faith….”

    “We were convinced that the people need and require [the Christian] faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out.”

    “We want to burn out all the recent immoral developments in literature, in the theater, and in the press—in short, we want to burn out the poison of immorality which has entered into our whole life and culture as a result of liberal excess…”

    “The Ten Commandments are a code of living to which there’s no refutation. These precepts correspond to irrefutable needs of the human soul.”

    Those quotes all came from one man. You should Google them and find out who it was.

  145. Charles Says:

    Hi Ben. You know me. I don’t have to Google it. I know who said those things. If they have the ability, it would do Lt. Dan and Hobart some good to look it up; however, I expect that Lt. Dan is a latter-day follower anyway, or something mighty dang close to it.

  146. David Says:

    Frankly, I knew that the church had been somewhat complicit in the rise of Nazism, and I knew there had been some pandering, but I hadn’t realized how central Christianity was in his rhetoric.
    It’s been 40 + years since I read the Fall of the Third Reich.
    Anyway, it just corroborates what I already knew about the dangers of a “Christian State”.

  147. Charles Says:

    Yes, David.

    The danger does not lie in Jesus himself. It never has. The danger lies in those all too fallable men and women who claim to be his ambassadors, yet would do unspeakable things in his name. History is filled to the brim and overflowing with examples of their misunderstanding of scripture, their distorion of it, and its cruelty. Yet, they would have us believe: “Oh, this time in 2010, it will be different. Trust us.” Nope. People would be wisest to trust in Jesus alone and be exceedingly suspicious of those humans who claim to be God’s emissary—especially the ones hooked up with politicians.

  148. Lt Dan Says:

    I’ve been reading sites like this for years, Long enough to know the buttons to press and get a vivid response from the slow witted and unsophisticated. All progressives need to examine their own history. The progressive cause has been, is, and will always be a fundamentally a racist movement. Crazy? Ask M.Sanger the founder of Planed parenthood; or POTUS W.Wilson. who segregated the Armed Forces, fired all persons of color working in the White House, and imprisoned thousands who had the bad judgment to disagree with him(see “The Real Wilson”) FDR was Wilson on steroids, the number of those imprisoned reached into the hundreds of thousands by the end of the war, extended and expanded the depression of 29 into the “Great Depression” deliberately to expand his own power.(see “The Forgotten Man”). I was cited the definition of conspiracy, treason, and sedition- I guess to intimidate me; For paraphrasing some Yankee named David in a book called ” Essays on Civil Disobedience” (Walden, for the sophomoric). One of the most honorable men I have ever examined said in a letter “Man will ether be governed by God or ruled by tyrants.” He also said BEFORE the revolution, ‘May this land be bathed in blood, rather than submit to the rule of a tyrant”.(GW) I endorse no view of the afterlife, I can hope- but I know it is all “The Great Unknown Country”. I will note that atheist governments murdered over 200,000,000 people in the last century; “and you shall know them by their fruits”.

  149. Lt Dan Says:

    Treason? Bill Ayers, Bernadette Dorne, Jane Fonda, Nome Chomsky, Hayden, all gave aide and comfort to an armed belligerent during a time of war or actively fought the government with bombs. Conspiracy? Look where the SDS and The Weathermen are now, almost to a man (or woman) they are teaching at Universities across the country or “working” in Non-profit foundations. If I had a felony conviction I could not get a job as a janitor at the Uni. of Chi-Town- but Billy is the chair of that Education Department. If i was complicit with the murder of a federal judge, I would never see the light of day again, Unless I was a black nationalist and Communist like Angela Davis- who now teaches at some screwed up school in Cali. With heroes like these, I an SURE the progressive cause will go far.. I guess there are those who believe they have already gone too far. BTW- If You are not getting money from Soros, get some.

  150. Ben Says:

    LOL, Lt Dan is throwing out the “atheists are murderers” canard. What a buffoon.

    Atheist Nexus:

    This is a frequent and tiresome ad hominem frequently resorted to by religious fundamentalists fast approaching total cognitive surrender, and I’d like to include a complete rebuttal here before I forget it.

    To begin with I’m going to leave Hitler to one side and examine our other three lumninaries. What did Joseph Stalin, Pol Pot and Mao Tse Tung all have in common apart from their atheism? Anyone? They all had a fanatical devotion to collectivism.

    In short all three subscribed to a dogmatic ideology that considered the wellbeing of the collective to be of greater import than the wellbeing of the individuals that made up the collective. Individuals percieved as threats to or targets of the collective were eliminated by exile, starvation or good old fashioned killing.

    The problem with ideologies is that they inevitably centre around the notion that ideas are more important than people. Accepting that ideas are more important than people inevitably leads to tragedy and atrocity.

    Atheism has no ideology. The central idea of atheism is a lack of belief in gods. In fact the only idea of atheism is a lack of belief in gods. Atheism can form a part of an ideology but it can never ben an ideology in itself because there’s not enough to it.

    Now as for our friend Adolf, first an aside:

    Hitler was not an atheist. It takes some spectacular mental contortions to come to the conclusion that Hitler was motivated by or even entertained the notion of atheism. A self declared “Christian…fighter for Truth and Justics” who declared himself an agent of “the Almighty Creator” makes for a lousy atheist. It’s entirely understandable why you would want to distance yourself from Hitler, but attempting to use his name to sully your opponents is simply dishonest.

    So what did motivate Hitler? Well it wasn’t collectivism. It was however a fanatical devotion to an ideology which valued ideas more than it valued people! Hitler’s ideology of Nazism, largely of his own invention, was a mish-mash of misunderstanding the works of Neitzsche and Heidegger who in turn were busy misunderstanding the works of Charles Darwin.

    Hitler’s ideology was based on germanic and aryan supremacy and slavic and jewish inferiority rather than on political collectivism and focused on race war rather than class struggle, but it was still at heart an ideology which crushed its targets and opponents under foot.

    Yet again we see that when ideas are considered to be more valuable than people it is inevitably followed by tragedy and atrocity.

    These four great apparently secular tyrants all had the same thing in common. Where else do we see this phenomenon? Every time an alleged witch is burned, every time a homosexual is murdered, every time a woman is beaten or raped for not covering herself up, every time a person is convicted or persecuted for unislamic or unchristian behaviour, every time an apostate is executed or a blasphemer is censured or threatened we are seeing a demonstration of ideas being held as more important than people.

    I believe that personal liberty and freedom of speech are ideas worth fighting for and worth defending precisely because these ideas put people first. They protect the individual from the scourge of ideology.

    If we celebrate the ideology of liberty and free speech you can be sure that you are putting people ahead of ideas. Isn’t that the way it should be?

  151. Ben Says:

    Sam Harris:

    People of faith often claim that the crimes of Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot were the inevitable product of unbelief. The problem with fascism and communism, however, is not that they are too critical of religion; the problem is that they are too much like religions. Such regimes are dogmatic to the core and generally give rise to personality cults that are indistinguishable from cults of religious hero worship. Auschwitz, the gulag and the killing fields were not examples of what happens when human beings reject religious dogma; they are examples of political, racial and nationalistic dogma run amok. There is no society in human history that ever suffered because its people became too reasonable.

  152. Ben Says:

    More:

    http://richarddawkins.net/articles/1779

  153. Ben Says:

    And from me:

    What magic trick did these “atheist governments” use to convert everyone to atheism? Did they wave a magic wand? Put something in the water?

    Neither, of course. What you had was people forced by totalitarianism to profess to being atheists. I would wager that the ratio of believers to unbelievers was the same before, during, and after these regimes.

    The atrocities were carried out by all sorts of people with all sorts of beliefs, but the root cause wasn’t real atheism or fake atheism, or Christianity, or any religion. It was totalitarianism.

    Every atheist I know—every last one—believes and supports the humanist tenets I listed above. So, Lt Dan, I’ll ask again—which of those tenets do you have a problem with? Scared to answer that question?

  154. Ben Says:

    Lt Dan, just to make it easy, I’ll list those tenets again here. Tell me which ones you don’t like.

    ——————————-

    What Is Secular Humanism?

    Secular Humanism is a term which has come into use in the last thirty years to describe a world view with the following elements and principles:

    A conviction that dogmas, ideologies and traditions, whether religious, political or social, must be weighed and tested by each individual and not simply accepted on faith.

    Commitment to the use of critical reason, factual evidence, and scientific methods of inquiry, rather than faith and mysticism, in seeking solutions to human problems and answers to important human questions.

    A primary concern with fulfillment, growth, and creativity for both the individual and humankind in general.
    A constant search for objective truth, with the understanding that new knowledge and experience constantly alter our imperfect perception of it.

    A concern for this life and a commitment to making it meaningful through better understanding of ourselves, our history, our intellectual and artistic achievements, and the outlooks of those who differ from us.

    A search for viable individual, social and political principles of ethical conduct, judging them on their ability to enhance human well-being and individual responsibility.

    A conviction that with reason, an open marketplace of ideas, good will, and tolerance, progress can be made in building a better world for ourselves and our children.

  155. Ben Says:

    But wait! There’s more!

    The Affirmations of Humanism:
    A Statement of Principles

    We are committed to the application of reason and science to the understanding of the universe and to the solving of human problems.

    We deplore efforts to denigrate human intelligence, to seek to explain the world in supernatural terms, and to look outside nature for salvation.

    We believe that scientific discovery and technology can contribute to the betterment of human life.

    We believe in an open and pluralistic society and that democracy is the best guarantee of protecting human rights from authoritarian elites and repressive majorities.

    We are committed to the principle of the separation of church and state.

    We cultivate the arts of negotiation and compromise as a means of resolving differences and achieving mutual understanding.

    We are concerned with securing justice and fairness in society and with eliminating discrimination and intolerance.

    We believe in supporting the disadvantaged and the handicapped so that they will be able to help themselves.

    We attempt to transcend divisive parochial loyalties based on race, religion, gender, nationality, creed, class, sexual orientation, or ethnicity, and strive to work together for the common good of humanity.

    We want to protect and enhance the earth, to preserve it for future generations, and to avoid inflicting needless suffering on other species.

    We believe in enjoying life here and now and in developing our creative talents to their fullest.

    We believe in the cultivation of moral excellence.

    We respect the right to privacy. Mature adults should be allowed to fulfill their aspirations, to express their sexual preferences, to exercise reproductive freedom, to have access to comprehensive and informed health-care, and to die with dignity.

    We believe in the common moral decencies: altruism, integrity, honesty, truthfulness, responsibility. Humanist ethics is amenable to critical, rational guidance. There are normative standards that we discover together. Moral principles are tested by their consequences.

    We are deeply concerned with the moral education of our children. We want to nourish reason and compassion.

    We are engaged by the arts no less than by the sciences.

    We are citizens of the universe and are excited by discoveries still to be made in the cosmos.

    We are skeptical of untested claims to knowledge, and we are open to novel ideas and seek new departures in our thinking.

    We affirm humanism as a realistic alternative to theologies of despair and ideologies of violence and as a source of rich personal significance and genuine satisfaction in the service to others.

    We believe in optimism rather than pessimism, hope rather than despair, learning in the place of dogma, truth instead of ignorance, joy rather than guilt or sin, tolerance in the place of fear, love instead of hatred, compassion over selfishness, beauty instead of ugliness, and reason rather than blind faith or irrationality.

    We believe in the fullest realization of the best and noblest that we are capable of as human beings.

  156. Lt Dan Says:

    Ben should read his book “The Rise and Fall again, especially the parts about propaganda and the cult of antisemitism. Don’t quote that one balled, coke head, paper hanger to me, Most of what he said was a lie, created by Gerbils to advance their agenda. Read again and see the National Socialist Workers Party’ s enrapture with the Occult and neo-paganism, especially within the SS. They were far from practicing Christians, after they took power they were militantly anti-Christian,( as the murder of 15,000 priests and ministers attest), going so far to expect good Germans to have their children pray to Hitler at bed time. I lived in BRD for 5 years. I knew several former Nazi (back in the 80s). Here is some of the advice these old men gave me.
    Any charismatic speaker, should be read slowly and dispassionately, to ascertain his true objectives.
    Any charismatic leader, will take power and continue to expand his power until some one has the courage to oppose him, then you will know by that individuals reaction to opposition weather he is a leader or a tyrant.
    All government is basically evil, the amount of evil a government does is in direct proportion to the amount of power the governed allow it.

    Beware any one who has an enemies list, who are the cause of all the ills that plague society, he is the “Father of Lies” .

  157. Lt Dan Says:

    Ben, I have lived in countries that are ruled by secular humanest mentality, I reject the moral relativism, the absence of values, the indifference of the sheeple. Ben do a little research, Who are the founders of this school of thought- hint it goes back a little further than 30 years. How about mid 19th century?
    “A primary concern” I’ve seen that in action in Europa, say an unacceptable statement and the man comes and takes you away, to correct your “misconceptions”. Ask any Christian that practice their faith in England, France, Germany etc.
    Secular Humanism is a militant form of Athleticism

  158. Charles Says:

    Ben: Excellent responses to Forrest Gump, Jr.

    Ben said: “Yet again we see that when ideas are considered to be more valuable than people it is inevitably followed by tragedy and atrocity.”

    This was one of the central principles in the ministry of Jesus. It shows up in other places in the New Testament, but the best example may be here: Luke 6: 2 through 10. Notice that Jesus chooses the person over the idea or rule. I’d just love to air drop Jesus into a Tea Party meeting. It would be so much fun!!! I would absolutely have to bring a movie camera and some good audio.

  159. Ben Says:

    Lt Dan looks to former Nazis for advice, yet he distrusts humanists because of their “Athleticism.”

    Watch out for Gerbils. They shred newspapers, from what I understand.

    Surely you aren’t for real…right?

  160. Charles Says:

    “Militant Athleticism” in action:

  161. Lt Dan Says:

    No Ben, I talked to these sad old men to see what they learned going through totalitarianism while I did volunteer work at the Omlahous. It took me about two years before I knew enough German and they knew me well enough to share their past. Nice statement of values and belief, sort of reminds me of the Constitution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, ever read it? Yes there is a magic wand for one to convert an entire population to Atheism, it is called the gun (or applied power of the state). Remember that Lenin and Stalin murdered 30,000,000 Russians before WWII, for such crimes as Counter-revolutionary Activity, (going to Church), Possession of unlicensed Literature, (a Bible), or being a Class Criminal, ( a priest, minister or rabbi). Atheism was imposed as rigorously as any Catholic Inquisition . Communism felt a threat from any one of faith, because they know that the State is their God. Any authority accepted besides the state is treason. China is going gang busters on Christians now, for this orthodox Marxist tenet.( BTW China has the largest population of Christians on earth now, between 180 and 200 million despite or maybe because of relentless persecution). All men have a god, it has absolutely nothing to do with what they say, or creeds or any of that dung. Their God is shown in what they do, how they treat themselves and others. BTW you know less than nothing about the New Testament. The rule broken was not Scriptural, it was Talmudic. This is my last post for a wile, I am quite ill, and the pills I have to take really sap my strength. My problem with the philosophy of Atheism, Humanism, etc. is the problem man has had from the dawn of time, All men from time to time want to dominate and control others, hence slavery, tyranny, crime, violence etc. I feel a little safer with a person who believes if he does bad things during his lifetime hes going to a really bad place instead of his pie in the sky if he has power over me. Who says stop to the man who believes there are no consequences if you aren’t caught.

  162. David Says:

    Lt. Dan , yes there were Nazis who enjoyed the “neopagan” mythology, however, the fact that we’re discussing is that Hitler commandeered the Christian religion, and then fused it with any other ideas that he and Goebbels, Himmler, etc liked in order to manipulate the less self-aware and educated in his society.
    One of their major tenets was “German exceptionalism”. I.E. aryan superiority.
    Does that sound familiar?
    I’ll ask it again. Does that sound …ing FAMILIAR?
    ps. Moral relativism. Most “moral relativists” don’t posit the idea as an excuse for their own behavior, they just point out that it’s a fact of human nature.
    For instance, the Commandment that men remember the sabbath and keep it holy: there was a time that that phrase had a non relativistic, unambiguous meaning.
    Now, Christians think that it’s ok to rush through the Sunday service in order to to make it home in time for NFL Sunday.
    What’s your “morally un-relative opinion on that, Lt. Dan?

  163. David Says:

    The problem with having people’s morality enforced by the fear of going to hell is that you have to BELIEVE these people when they say that.
    Then you have to BELIEVE that they’re right.
    Better off just having a common sense set of written laws for how people will conduct themselves, and then just go by that.
    Like a constitution, say.

  164. Ben Says:

    “Nice statement of values and belief, sort of reminds me of the Constitution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, ever read it?”

    There were three. And they remind you of the principles above? Wow. That’s just weird. And you don’t support your claim with any facts. I could just as easily say you remind me of a Nazi. Does that make it true?

    “Yes there is a magic wand for one to convert an entire population to Atheism, it is called the gun”

    So if someone points a gun at a theist, they will become an atheist? That’s all it takes? Boy, I bet none of the believers on this site will agree with that.

    “Remember that Lenin and Stalin murdered 30,000,000 Russians before WWII, for such crimes blah blah blah”

    Totalitarianism was the problem, not atheism. They wanted to stamp out religion because they considered it a hurdle. Atheism simply means a lack of belief in a god. It carries with it NO other meaning. You can try to link atheism to a political agenda, but it just makes you look foolish. There are atheist liberals, atheist conservatives, atheist libertarians, atheist independents, atheist moderates, etc. There are atheist doctors, atheist police officers, atheist firefighters, atheist philanthropists, atheist humanitarians.

    “BTW China has the largest population of Christians on earth now, between 180 and 200 million despite or maybe because of relentless persecution”

    Then why doesn’t somebody simply point a gun at these Christians, because then they’d instantly become atheists. You said so yourself. You realize how ridiculous you sound?

    “All men have a god”

    Simply untrue. I don’t have one. If you say I am my own god, you don’t understand the definition of god.

    “This is my last post for a wile”

    One can only hope.

    “Who says stop to the man who believes there are no consequences if you aren’t caught.”

    Sam Harris sums it up well: If a person doesn’t already understand that cruelty is wrong, he won’t discover this by reading the Bible or the Koran — as these books are bursting with celebrations of cruelty, both human and divine. We do not get our morality from religion. We decide what is good in our good books by recourse to moral intuitions that are (at some level) hard-wired in us and that have been refined by thousands of years of thinking about the causes and possibilities of human happiness. We have made considerable moral progress over the years, and we didn’t make this progress by reading the Bible or the Koran more closely. Both books condone the practice of slavery — and yet every civilized human being now recognizes that slavery is an abomination. Whatever is good in scripture — like the golden rule — can be valued for its ethical wisdom without our believing that it was handed down to us by the creator of the universe.

  165. Ben Says:

    Dan should read this study:

    http://moses.creighton.edu/JRS/2005/2005-11.html

    Here’s a highlight:

    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.

  166. Charles Says:

    Lt. Dan said:

    “This is my last post for a wile, I am quite ill, and the pills I have to take really sap my strength.”

    I am sorry to hear that Dan. It sounds as if you might be a senior citizen. If it is any consolation to you, it is normal to feel the way you do at this time in your life. Every generation would like to die off believing that the things they valued will live on and that the particular way of life and worldview that they most liked will endure forever. That is never the case. Other than death and taxes, the other constant in life is change. I watched a couple of generations of my own family die off. A number of them were distraught that the world they lived in had become a foreign place. My step-grandfather could not cope emotionally with the 1969 moon landings. He believed that space was God’s realm and that there was a barrier that would prevent space travel into God’s holy territory; therefore, the moon landings had to be fake.

    I am getting up in years, and I feel the same way myself to some extent. I grew up in a world where people loved each other, cared for each over, and people were more important than “things.” That world of my youth is slipping away now and giving way to an American culture that values “me first and everyman for himself,” individuals living a life filled with personal greed, worship of dollars and things, and evangelical/fundamentalist churches who are all too willing to craft a new Christian theology to baptize and bless the full spectrum of that evil. This is a sad time to be a poor person, a sick person, a hungry person, etc. A good example of it is happening right here in my own town. About 10 years ago, local businessmen and civic leaders came of with a workable idea on how to help homeless people—one that has actually worked in other places. However, they forgot one important factor when they finally got enough funds (much of it private) to implement the plan. No one wants an apartment residence building for homeless (or I should say formerly homeless) people in their neighborhood. Best I can tell, evangelical/fundamentalist Christians (along with others) have been showing up in force with a mob attitude to prevent effective help for the homeless. Operative theme: “Not in my backyard.” Every place they try to locate a new building, the outraged residents show up to shoot it down. Last, I heard, they were talking about giving up on the plan. Headline: “God’s People Shaft Homeless at Every Turn.”

  167. David Says:

    Well spoken, Charles.

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