Wednesday, August 21, 2013

McAtheism

This is a brilliant term, which we can always use when we get tired of "gnu." Here.

Would you like fries with that?

94 comments:

Crude said...

I still like the Cult of Gnu, but I think McAtheism is damn apt too. Kudos to whoever came up with it.

Vastly more appropriate than 'Brights' ever was.

Saints and Sceptics said...

Thanks Vic! We first used the term here - http://www.saintsandsceptics.org/mcatheism-and-the-mcchurch/

Saints and Sceptics said...

(That article first appeared in "Evangelicals Now" in 2010 - we updated it for the website)

im-skeptical said...

A fascinating article. As I was reading it, I couldn't help but be reminded of the situation with racial discrimination in America.

For many years, the good old boys were on top. They held all the cards, and practiced their despicable racial discrimination with impunity. Then along came affirmative action programs, and they weren't happy about it. Not happy at all. The idea that a black person could get into college while some of their own couldn't ... it's discrimination. It's so unfair. How dare they? Then, along came Clarence Thomas, and he's on a mission to put things back the way they used to be. Because that's just the way things aught to be.

Crude said...

Skep can't stand dem uppity black folk who don't know their place. He thinks maybe someone oughta teach them black fellers like Clarence Thomas a lesson. Maybe someone oughta get a pickup truck and some rope. Skep'll put the pedal to the metal, show them Uncle Toms what happens to blacks who get outta line.

Also, is there anything more hilarious that a movement that - at once - wants to claim the present and past sociopolitical elite as their own, and yet also wants to draw comparison between themselves and oppressed racial minorities? It's like an upper middle class white girl bawling her eyes out and screaming 'THIS IS JUST LIKE LIVING IN NAZI GERMANY' because she was outvoted at the sorority.

Saints and Sceptics said...

I'm afraid that the analogy between populist atheism and affirmative action escapes me.

I'm also a little perplexed by atheism's persecution complex. This doesn't cohere with their boast that atheists take most Nobel prizes and hold the top academic chairs.

Of course an atheist will face persecution in Pakistan alongside evangelical Christians; but I'm not sure that anyone can claim MoPPE ("most persecuted people ever")status in the secularised west.

GV

im-skeptical said...

"I'm afraid that the analogy between populist atheism and affirmative action escapes me."

That's not surprising. A bigot typically fails to see his own bigotry. He will swear on a stack of bibles that he's no bigot. But he is.

From what I've seen of your site, it appears to be aimed at undermining the notion that these "new atheists" have anything reasonable to say or anything constructive to contribute to a debate. Rather than engaging with their arguments, your attacks are ad hominem, or focus on the way the arguments are delivered. You are very uncomfortable about the fact that they are more outspoken than they were back in the good old days. Obviously, you would prefer that atheists stay in their place and keep their mouths shut.

But you'll get a good hearing here. Victor and his followers are right in line with your sentiments. So you can share your feelings of disdain toward people who have the temerity to speak out against your beliefs. Maybe you can invent a few new epithets for them.

Crude said...

Of course an atheist will face persecution in Pakistan alongside evangelical Christians

No, they will not. An atheist has a very easy way to escape persecution in Pakistan.

He can pray to Allah and fake devoutness. There is nothing about atheism that forbids this, or even makes it particularly offensive in and of itself to an atheist. Some people pretend to like a given politician, or president, or dictator to survive or have an easier life. Other people pretend they like sports when they dislike it in order to get promoted. These options are entirely open to an atheist, as an atheist.

That's not to say that someone can, apart from their atheistic beliefs, suddenly decide that their atheism is supremely important. But frankly, it's not some innate feature of atheism, or even of naturalism - nothing in naturalism says you can't BS about your belief in naturalism if the going gets tough. Believing christians, and religious people generally, don't have as much innate latitude.

Remember when the speculation was going around that Obama was an atheist faking his Christian beliefs so he could be president? Remember when Dawkins used to talk about how there just HAD to be more atheists in congress and the senate than there appeared to be? It helps prove the point: even among cultured western atheists, there seems to be little frowning about lying about one's beliefs. And again, this isn't just 'in order to save their lives'. They can do it to get elected, get promoted, whatever.

I'm sure some atheists do get persecuted, but let's look frankly at the real stakes.

Crude said...

Saints and Skeptics,

Don't sweat Skep too much. He's slowly coming to the realization that merely saying 'I am an atheist!' hasn't added so much as a single point to his IQ, so at this point he's basically a creature of hapless wannabe-dramatic lashing out. At least when he's not fantasizing about tying uppity minorities of the wrong political persuasion to the back of his pickup.

And I'd say pardon my bluntness about these matters, but frankly I think said bluntness is exactly what's needed when dealing with, specifically, the Cult of Gnu, as opposed to atheists who actually have more sense and less of a herding instinct.

mattghg said...

@im-skeptical,

What do you mean by 'outspoken'? For my part, I have not problem with atheists (new or old) speaking out about atheism, arguing for atheism etc. But if by 'outspoken' you mean belittling and ridiculing believers without seriously engaging the arguments for belief, then yes, I'd rather this development hadn't happened. It's exactly the behaviour you accuse 'Saints and Skeptics' of.

As regards the 'McAtheists' epithet; I mean, c'mon. As Crude alludes, when Dennett et al. decided to call themselves 'Brights', what did they think might happen?

B. Prokop said...

Kindly excuse me while I cry me a river over the poor, poor persecuted atheists in the West. Once I hear of people burning down their gathering places, as are Coptic churches in Egypt today, or of atheists being gunned down in the streets by snipers, as happens to Christians in Yemen today, or of their being sent off to "corrective labor camps", as Christians are today in atheist North Korea, or even of their being hounded out of business, as are practicing Christians in the medical and hospitality professions in the hyper-secular United Kingdom today... then you might have my attention.

But from what I gather, the extent of "persecution" of atheists in the USA today is "Wah, wah, wah. Nobody understands me, and they all refuse to agree with everything I say!"

im-skeptical said...

"if by 'outspoken' you mean belittling and ridiculing believers without seriously engaging the arguments for belief ..."

What's wrong with that? It's not like religious people haven't been doing the same thing for many centuries. What's good for the goose ...

mattghg said...

Then don't complain about how (you think) Saints and Skeptics treats the new atheists. You can't have it both ways.

im-skeptical said...

"Then don't complain about how (you think) Saints and Skeptics treats the new atheists. You can't have it both ways."

You don't understand. I'm not trying to have it both ways at all. I asked what's wrong with it, because if you think it's bad, then why is it OK for theists and not atheists? And just for the record, I think the "new atheists" have made extensive efforts to address theists' arguments, typically in a far more civilized manner than what we often see from theists. What I often see is that theists focus on a small part of what they say, take it out of context, and distort its meaning, or at the very least, they ignore lion's share of what they are saying.

mattghg said...

I asked what's wrong with it, because if you think it's bad, then why is it OK for theists and not atheists?

It isn't.

And just for the record, I think the "new atheists" have made extensive efforts to address theists' arguments, typically in a far more civilized manner than what we often see from theists.

For the record, I disagree.

Martin said...

im-skeptical,

>I think the "new atheists" have made extensive efforts to address theists' arguments

That's comedy. I present you a challenge: find me a single atheist online who accurately understands how Aquinas' First Way works. You might actually find one or two, but I bet it will be difficult.

im-skeptical said...

"For the record, I disagree."

And that's because you have ignored most of what they say, as I explained.

im-skeptical said...

Martin,

Your problem with it is that they haven't addressed it in a way that you find satisfactory.

Martin said...

>Your problem with it is that they haven't addressed it in a way that you find satisfactory.

No. My problem is that very few, VERY few, have an understanding even of how the argument works at all. If you go through the Internet, you will find that MOST of them think that the argument says that the universe has a beginning.

mattghg said...

And that's because you have ignored most of what they say, as I explained.

This is comedy gold. You know me that well, do you?

Saints and Sceptics said...


I'm rather sceptical, I'm afraid, of "I'm sceptical."

Of course, it's possible that I'm labouring under a "blik"...but the assessment of the Saints and Sceptics site seems a bit blinkered. Take the ridiculous claim that
"Rather than engaging with their arguments, your attacks are ad hominem, or focus on the way the arguments are delivered. "

The first post on the site's home page contains nearly two hours of interviews dealing with science and faith, addressing many claims made by New Atheists.

If someone were to search for Dawkins they would find that we have several lengthy posts responding to Dawkins' view of God and his critique of natural theology -

http://www.saintsandsceptics.org/refuting-richard-dawkins-doesnt-get-god/

http://www.saintsandsceptics.org/in-the-beginning/

http://www.saintsandsceptics.org/theres-probably-no-god-a-response-to-richard-dawkins/


http://www.saintsandsceptics.org/dawkins-747-gambit-replying-to-richards-forum/

along with popular material
(eg. http://www.saintsandsceptics.org/dawkins-dilbert-and-the-illogical-scientists/ )

Given that Dawkins believes he can refute Islam in 140 characters, I think he'll forgive us for having more popular pieces.

Furthermore, David Glass has written a substantial book responding to the New Atheism, which is advertised on the site. (I have a book forthcoming on the same topic). David also published a critique of Dawkins' favoured argument with "Sophia", a secular philosophical journal, which is linked to on our site.

Overall, I think we have attempted to give a robust response to New Atheism.

G Veale

Saints and Sceptics said...

The link for "Design, Darwin and Dawkins' Dilemma"
http://scm.ulster.ac.uk/~e10207076/Research/DawkinsDilemma.pdf

im-skeptical said...

Saints and Sceptics:

I'll try to take more time to see what's on your site. I based what I said on the part that I saw.

A few things to note:
- If you want to be taken seriously, perhaps it would be better to forgo the pejorative language.
- You obviously think Richard Dawkins' arguments are to be taken seriously, or you wouldn't put so much effort into refuting them.
- Books attacking the new atheists are a dime a dozen. Most have been refuted.

Martin said...

im-skeptical,

>Books attacking the new atheists are a dime a dozen. Most have been refuted.

No they haven't. For example, I have seen very little serious response, much less a "refutation", of Feser's The Last Superstition: A Refutation of the New Atheism.

Crude said...

If you want to be taken seriously, perhaps it would be better to forgo the pejorative language.

So PZ Myers, Richard Dawkins, Jerry Coyne and the rest don't want to be taken seriously?

You obviously think Richard Dawkins' arguments are to be taken seriously, or you wouldn't put so much effort into refuting them.

So the Cult of Gnu thinks Ken Ham, William Behe, William Lane Craig, and others are to be taken seriously?

Books attacking the new atheists are a dime a dozen. Most have been refuted.

Aaaaaaaahahahahahahahaaaaa. :D

Please, provide evidence of that. More people than myself need to outright laugh at your embarrassing grasp of the state of the arguments and the evidence on this front.

Growing numbers of atheists think Dawkins and company are a bunch of ignorant hacks, to say nothing of the many irreligious who have already reached that conclusion.

But good God. Is there anything more hypocritical than a booster of the Cult of Gnu leadership - leadership who not only absolutely rely on 'pejorative language' but expressly endorse it - whimpering like a punched bunny when their role models are on the receiving end of such language, and in a far more muted fashion to boot?

im-skeptical said...

Don't worry, crude. Nobody will ever take you seriously.

Crude said...

Don't worry, crude. Nobody will ever take you seriously.

See, that's a key difference between you and me, Skep: a comment like the above indicates that perception is everything for you. I don't care if I'm taken seriously by mostly-strangers on a blog. You do.

Which makes the fact that anyone can see you are out of your league and shown to be as such at every turn - and quite often, that people like myself are the ones illustrating your ignorance and poor command of reasoning and evidence alike - no doubt sting you all the more.

But the goal here isn't to sting. It's to help you learn a lesson.

Anyway, by all means, please proceed to insist that atheists in America are some of the saddest victims ever to live within the borders. ;)

BenYachov said...

I vote for "Gnu" for partisan ethnic reasons.

I am of Scotish descent & I don't want the term "Mc" to be used for F'ing lowlife Gnus.

I have no problem using it for rational sensible Atheists.

But fundies and Gnus forget it!

Scotts deserve better.

Samwell Barnes said...

Why, after nearly a decade of his juvenile antics, should we treat Dawkins' "thought" with meticulous care?

He is demonstrably a complete ignoramus when it comes to the philosophy of religion. In the God Delusion, he misrepresented every single one of Thomas Aquinas' Five Ways, which indicates a complete lack of academic integrity and seriousness. He also made a series of vaporous responses to other arguments for God's existence, which indicates precisely the same thing. Further, the "Central Argument" of his book is not only structurally invalid, but hopelessly unsound as well. The premises are completely confused, and he understands nothing about the metaphysical presuppositions that underwrite them, nor does he care to or see any need to.



I won't even go into his execrable bilge about religion being tantamount child abuse and his girly refusal to debate William Lane Craig.


He is a sad, spiteful, deluded little man.

Crude said...

The funny thing, Samwell, is that - in Dawkins' case - I don't think you go far enough.

Plenty of people seem willing to admit that Dawkins is a joke when it comes to theology and philosophy. But people should go even further: he was never a 'brilliant scientist', and he is not an evolutionary biologist anymore. He is an ex-scientist who became a pop sci writer.

For the record, I advocate respect and courtesy in discussion - but only if it's mutual. The Cult of Gnu, as a rule, eschews respect and courtesy. They -rely- on mockery of people who disagree with them. They deserve nothing more than exactly that.

Respect is better spent on other people, and other atheists.

Saints and Sceptics said...

Ben Yachov

You're the second person of Scottish descent who has complained about our use of "Mc"!

In our defence, we are all Irish or Ulster-Scots at Saints and Sceptics...including one Dr McCartney!
And we didn't invent terms like "McChurch" or "McDonaldization"...

I suppose one reason we might prefer "McAtheism" is that it calls attention to the problem of the "McChurch". Indeed, the latter may feed into the former through ex-Christians and ex-Apologists. (Sometimes, the only difference between Evangelical Christian and ex-Christian subculture is the latter swear more!)

GV

Saints and Sceptics said...

I'm Skeptical

We're trying to explain why senior academics are using pejorative language! We have not even approached the level of venom that typifies McAtheist discourse.

One reason is the nature of the product - McAtheism sells the idea that atheism is obviously true. You can't hold that and engage a theist in a serious debate (unless the theist is arguing, or seems to be arguing for blind faith!)
We also noted in our first article that McAtheists want to establish that religion is a legitimate target for vulgar and crude insults. This profanes what is perceived as sacred; it undermines respect for religion.

The problem is that it also undermines civility and manners. For example, "Old New Atheists", "Atheism+" and "Atheism 2.0" are more brutal with each other than they are with theists!

It has also led Dawkins to make some foolish statements on Twitter - which led to a backlash in the mainstream press in Britain.

GV

Samwell Barnes said...

Crude,

You'll excuse me if I'm not fresh on my Dawkins: Does he publicly style himself as a practicing scientist? The topic never arose in my mind, because it's obvious that he's not. How can he, when he's always heroically out and about seeking to purge the world of the ills of religion? I'm aware his disciples and admirers love to style him that way, but of course he's not completely culpable for it if it didn't originate with him.

Re: "never a brilliant scientist." Yup. Another thing that's subconsciously struck me as true. All he has to his name is a bloody metaphor. Can you imagine if he or any of the other Horseman had Francis Collins' credentials (Human Genome, NIH, etc.)? McAtheists would never let theists hear the end of it. The fact that they're completely silent on the scientific achievements of their foremost shepherds speaks volumes.

In complete agreement on the whole "mutuality of respectful discourse" thing, btw.


"Sometimes, the only difference between Evangelical Christian and ex-Christian subculture is the latter swear more!"

And advocate aborting babies, "gay marriage," "sexual freedom," pot culture, etc.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Martin said...

Saints and Skeptics,

>McAtheism sells the idea that atheism is obviously true.

They'll just respond to this by saying that atheism is not a worldview, and makes no positive claims. So it can't be "obviously true".

It's maddening. Absolutely maddening...

Saints and Sceptics said...

Yes, I see your point Samuel. But often they are simply advocating what the Church opposes...

Saints and Sceptics said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Saints and Sceptics said...

I would simply ask atheists if they are claiming that atheism is correct, or if they are claiming it is probably correct.

If they're not prepared to make either claim, perhaps they'd be better off listening to one hand clapping than debating atheism...

Crude said...

Samwell,

You'll excuse me if I'm not fresh on my Dawkins: Does he publicly style himself as a practicing scientist? The topic never arose in my mind, because it's obvious that he's not.

Dawkins? No, he doesn't say he's practicing. He does, however, allow himself to be presented and praised as an evolutionary biologist, which is a little like introducing Albert Einstein to an audience as a fine and hard-working employee of the patent office.

Part of the problem here is Christians, not Dawkins. There's a habit many Christians like to cultivate of being the most self-effacing, humble one in the room, so they introduce their opponents with praise - particularly scientists. I think this needs to stop.

Agreed on all other points.

S&S,

I would simply ask atheists if they are claiming that atheism is correct, or if they are claiming it is probably correct.

It sounds like it'd work, right? In my experience, they just stamp their feet, yell louder, or retreat to other blogs and beg for reinforcements. There's a difference between atheists and the Cult of Gnu, of course. There are reasonable, thoughtful atheists. The Cult makes a suspension of self-skepticism and an eschewal of manners a requirement for joining - elsewise you're an 'accommodationist' or the like.

im-skeptical said...

"I would simply ask atheists if they are claiming that atheism is correct, or if they are claiming it is probably correct."

Is that supposed to prove something? This is an issue I discussed a few days ago. Does anyone remember what I said? I doubt it, because every time I explain what I believe, these people insist that they know better than I do.

"But often they are simply advocating what the Church opposes..."

Almost makes us sound like Republicans, doesn't it? No projection going on here, is there?

BenYachov said...

>You're the second person of Scottish descent who has complained about our use of "Mc"!

>In our defence, we are all Irish or Ulster-Scots at Saints and Sceptics...including one Dr McCartney!
And we didn't invent terms like "McChurch" or "McDonaldization"...

Hmmmm...well if you guys are fellow Celtic persons I guess then it's OK.

Sort of like Black people being allowed to use the N-word & so forth.

Carry on Lads.

Saints and Sceptics said...

I'm Skeptical
You confused me for a moment...
Republican means something VERY different in our neck of the woods...
although Irish Republicans never did gather as many guns as the NRA, I'll grant you that.

GV

im-skeptical said...

"You confused me for a moment...
Republican means something VERY different in our neck of the woods..."

In our neck of the woods, Republicans hate the president and are opposed to everything he does, no matter what it is. (This is not an exaggeration. look at the congressional record in recent years.)

Martin said...

>Republicans hate the president and are opposed to everything he does, no matter what it is.

And when a Republican is in office, likewise with the Democrats.

Welcome to: winner-take-all voting.

Where politics is team sports, and you just want your team to win at all costs and that's all anyone cares about.

im-skeptical said...

"And when a Republican is in office, likewise with the Democrats."

That's what you'd like to believe, but facts say otherwise. Today's Republicans are under the thumb of an extremist wing that didn't exist until Obama was elected. The level of cooperation has never been lower.

Furthermore, Republicans have managed to gerrymander congressional districts so badly that they have majority control even when the majority of the popular vote goes to Democrats. Look at states like Pennsylvania (49% of votes - 72% of seats in congress) and North Carolina(49% of votes - 69% of seats), for example. The result is that Republicans have majority control of congress, even with a nationwide minority of votes cast for them.

They now have an objective of using congressional districts to choose presidential electoral college representatives.

Welcome to loser-take-all voting.

Martin said...

That may (or may not) be true, but it flip flops as the decades go by. One party is extremist, the other is not, then it switches, etc.

The core disease is not "Republicans" (who are a symptom), but rather winner-take-all voting.

Watch this video.

im-skeptical said...

"The core disease is not "Republicans" (who are a symptom), but rather winner-take-all voting."

I agree completely with the video, but what's happening in America today is worse than that. The party with FEWER votes wins, because they manage to rig the outcome. That's what gerrymandering does. Along with voter suppression laws, voter purges and disenfranchisement, unlimited corporate sponsorship, unregulated propaganda and disinformation campaigns, intimidation at the polls, dismantling of voter rights laws, etc, Republicans are using every dirty trick in the book to turn elections in their favor, against the will of the people. And don't even think of claiming that Democrats do the same things. Democrats tend to win when more people have a fair opportunity to vote. Republicans win when they don't.

Al Moritz said...

For once I agree with I'm Skeptical!

Crude said...

There is something absolutely amazing about a person who believes the following:

* Only one political party engages in gerrymandering, now and historically.

* That only one party makes use of propaganda and disinformation campaigns, and it only really matters for one party.

* Only one party engages in vote manipulation and disenfranchisement, or it only really matters for one party.

* Only one party receives tremendous support from corporations, or it only really matters for one party.

* That only one party routinely runs against 'the will of the people' in their actions and policies, or it only really matters for one party.

I love that little bit at the end that basically cashed out to 'Don't you even TRY to tell me otherwise, because I'm totally convinced of this and NOTHING will change my mind'. That's Cult of Gnu flavor skepticism, alright.

Not that it's confined to the Cult or anything - you find that in religions and, obviously, politics too, on various sides. But really, you have to be living in one hell of a fantasy world - or just plain be slow - to believe that the various problems, now and in the past, are problems that only one party is meaningfully guilty of.

And before anyone makes that obvious move - no, making a piecemeal admission of 'Okay my party has TECHNICALLY done something like that in the past, but OVERWHELMINGLY it is the republicans!' doesn't absolve one of this.

Anyway, this conversation is now in the toilet since Skep there couldn't help but blurt out one of his deeper emotional commitments. So I'll just give everyone an actual bit of data: The Business / Labor / Ideological Split in donations. Enjoy.

im-skeptical said...

"So I'll just give everyone an actual bit of data:"

And since crude doesn't read the information when he makes a post like this, please be sure to notice:

1: where most of the money comes from
2: where most of the money goes

Crude said...

And since crude doesn't read the information when he makes a post like this, please be sure to notice:

Uh, Skep? I did happen to read it. Better yet - and here's where you and I differ, as always - I understood it.

Let's quote some relevant portions, shall we?

An important caveat must be added to these figures: "business" contributions from individuals are based on the donor's occupation/employer. Since nearly everyone works for someone, and since union affiliation is not listed on FEC reports, totals for business are somewhat overstated, while labor is understated. Still, the base of large individual donors is predominantly made up of business executives and professionals. Contributions under $200 are not included in these numbers, as they are not itemized.

And with that in mind, let's take a look at the comparison.

Republicans received $1,267,307,973 in donations from the 'business' category. Holy shit! That's a lot! Why, that's hundreds of millions of dollars! They really ARE the party of businesses and...

Oops, wait.

Democrats received $885,676,833 in donations from the 'business' category.

Let's roll back to Skep's adorably ignorant accusation: "unlimited corporate sponsorship". Also, "And don't even think of claiming that Democrats do the same things."

Now, of course - when someone bothered to actually supply data - he's pussed out and backed up to the claim of 'But the Republicans get MORE business donations!' In other words, suddenly the vast investment of businesses and corporations into the political process isn't the great offense, and the Democratic Party taking in close to 900 million dollars isn't really a problem. It's just that the Republicans get more money on that front.

Boo hoo.

Now, I don't expect Skep to understand this. He's the sort of guy who gets a mailing list notification of 'REPUBLICAN ESTABLISH THEOCRACY IN KENTUCKY - MILLIONS OF GAYS FORCED INTO CONCENTRATION CAMPS' and just accepts it all because surely the operator of the mailing list devoted to motivate dumb people to vote and donate money wouldn't lie to him. But for everyone else? Ask yourself, in light of those stats, if it's really the case that only ONE party loves to swim in corporate and business donations.

This is a great time to remind people that 'socialism' does not necessarily mean 'the eradication or even control of business/corporate interests'. It can also mean the tight entangling of them, and the wedding of state and business interests.

im-skeptical said...

I really don't know what point you were trying to make. "So I'll just give everyone an actual bit of data:" Some businesses actually donate to Democrats!

If that was your point, I might add that there are reasonable people in the business community. There are those who understand that the economy fares better in general when Republicans are not in charge.

If it was not your point, then exactly what were you trying to tell us?

Crude said...

I really don't know what point you were trying to make.

Of course you don't. I mean, that would require you understanding and - worse yet - admitting that your worldview, which you are supremely invested in emotionally, contained a major flaw.

Hence, you go from complaints about 'unlimited corporate sponsorship' and how the Democrats could never be guilty of such things, to 'well the Republicans get MORE money' to, now...

If that was your point, I might add that there are reasonable people in the business community. There are those who understand that the economy fares better in general when Republicans are not in charge.

Of course.

How do you know if a corporation or a business interest is reasonable? Why, if they give to the Democratic party. Because 'the economy fares better in general when Republicans are not in charge'. Also, businesses really, really care about 'the economy in general' as opposed to 'their own particular business'. At least, when they send money to the Democrats.

If it was not your point, then exactly what were you trying to tell us?

'Us'? Skep, read my last comment. Do you really think I'm even trying to tell 'you' anything at this point? I'm using you as an example. There is faint hope at best that you're going to understand your mistakes, or even be aware at when you're saying things that make you into, basically, a parody.

Now, other people checking out the comments? They, I have more hope for. Maybe someone will learn something. Or hell, maybe they'll just find it amusing.

Anyway, continue to be my monkey, if you will. Maybe you can next say the the Democrats are fervent believers in the right to privacy, and no Democrat administration would ever support, say... warrantless wiretapping, or warrantless cellphone data searches. ;)

im-skeptical said...

"I'm using you as an example."

And again you screwed it up.

"and no Democrat administration would ever support, say... warrantless wiretapping, or warrantless cellphone data searches"

It is indeed unfortunate that our president has chosen to continue some of the programs of his predecessor.

Crude said...

And again you screwed it up.

You're still struggling, hands shaking at the keyboard, to even *understand* the points I'm making, Skep. You're baffled at the idea that it makes no sense to claim that only one party is deeply intertwined with corporate and business interests/money, in light of the actual donation data.

Dance, monkey, dance. ;)

It is indeed unfortunate that our president has chosen to continue some of the programs of his predecessor.

Good boy, monkey! Get yourself a 'nana. It's not a 'Democrats GOOOOOOOD republicans BAAAAAAD' thing, now is it? Why, it's almost as if... Democrats suffer from the same problems.

They receive money from corporations and business interests, who expect something in return.

They use propaganda and misreporting to influence people.

They turn a blind eye to corruption within their party if they think they can get away with it, or if it will advance their aims.

And so on, and so on. And I know you're just quivering there, ready to say 'the Republicans do it too!' Pity I think the Republicans are full of caca as well. I just am free to be skeptical of both parties equally. Whenever they do anything positive, it tends to be either by accident, or because they were forced to by circumstance.

But to recognize this would shatter your worldview. You democrat! You Cult of Gnu atheist! Others BAD, others WRONG. Fear others! Attack them! Attack them with FIRE because they are BAD. Etc, etc.

On the bright side, Skep - I'm sure there are evolutionary explanations for behaviors like yours. ;)

im-skeptical said...

Quiver ... quiver !!!

im-skeptical said...

"You're baffled at the idea that it makes no sense to claim that only one party is deeply intertwined with corporate and business interests/money, in light of the actual donation data."

Just in case other people here have the same reading comprehension problem that crude suffers from, I didn't make any claim of the sort that he alleges. The only thing I said one party does that the other doesn't is to suppress the ability of people to vote. Politicians of both parties are slimy. It's just that Republicans have upped the ante.

Saints and Sceptics said...

I'm skeptical

There is a wide range of political opinion at Saints and Sceptics, and we only have five regular writers! Yet we're all conservative evangelicals. It's not helpful when friends or enemies of evangelicalism identify it with the GOP.

GV

Dan Gillson said...

What would we call the Burger King equivalent of McAtheism?

im-skeptical said...

Saints and Sceptics,

I certainly would prefer that we had no such political association. there was a time when we didn't. However, in the USA the Republicans have made a strategic move to ally themselves with the religious/evangelical community. Religion and politics have become inextricably linked, much to the consternation of secular minded people.

My theory is this: Republicans have become the party that represent the interests of the wealthy elite, who are not particularly religious, but they are clearly in the minority. This is no secret. Their policies clearly benefit the wealthy, and are detrimental to people who work for a living. But they need popular support in order to win political office so they can implement their agenda on taxation, de-unionization, etc. They have been successful in gaining this popular support by blatantly appealing to religious interests. By emphasizing hot-button issues for religious people (anti-abortion, anti-gay) and espousing vague platitudes (family values, American exceptionalism), they have managed to beguile millions of people into going against their own economic interests. They support policies that enrich the wealthy, while the economic well-being of the rest of us wastes away, as our homes and jobs are lost. In exchange, the Republican politicians appease their religious supporters by passing abortion restrictions and directing public money to their institutions.

Al Moritz said...

Politicians of both parties are slimy. It's just that Republicans have upped the ante.

Agreed.

My theory is this: Republicans have become the party that represent the interests of the wealthy elite, who are not particularly religious, but they are clearly in the minority. This is no secret. Their policies clearly benefit the wealthy, and are detrimental to people who work for a living. But they need popular support in order to win political office so they can implement their agenda on taxation, de-unionization, etc. They have been successful in gaining this popular support by blatantly appealing to religious interests. By emphasizing hot-button issues for religious people (anti-abortion, anti-gay) and espousing vague platitudes (family values, American exceptionalism), they have managed to beguile millions of people into going against their own economic interests. They support policies that enrich the wealthy, while the economic well-being of the rest of us wastes away, as our homes and jobs are lost. In exchange, the Republican politicians appease their religious supporters by passing abortion restrictions and directing public money to their institutions.

This Catholic wholeheartedly agrees with your analysis. It is just a cynical game the Republican Party plays to win religious votes, and indeed, millions of people are so dumb to going against their own economic interests by voting for them -- it is not just the 'religious' issue, but also the pathetic and typically American lure of 'freedom' and 'liberty' (pathetic indeed, since when is America more free than Europe?) that the Republicans manage to use so effectively in their campaign (no 'government intrusion' in my healthcare, all the uninsured be damned!!). It's sad, really.

Saints and Sceptics said...

Dan Gilson

Hmmm

Burger King could give McAtheism a nice slogan

"Atheism: Have it Your Way"
(Atheism 2.0, Atheism+ or Old New Atheism with Nihilism, Humanism, Scientism or fries and ketchup)

Graham

Crude said...

Just in case other people here have the same reading comprehension problem that crude suffers from, I didn't make any claim of the sort that he alleges.

As usual, Skep forgets what he actually wrote. He mentioned "unlimited corporate sponsorship" and then added "And don't even think of claiming that Democrats do the same things."

So, "The only thing I said one party does that the other doesn't is to suppress the ability of people to vote." is a complete goddamn lie. And even that's utterly false, in more ways than one.

But hey, at least you're backtracking even if you can't admit it. For that I say: you're welcome.

Crude said...

Republicans have become the party that represent the interests of the wealthy elite, who are not particularly religious, but they are clearly in the minority. This is no secret.

Actually, it is a secret.

Show me that the Republicans are the only ones representing the interests of the wealthy elite. In fact, show me that 'the interests of the wealthy elite' comprises a single group, rather than there being multiple interests of such people - are the interests of Hollywood executives, with a keen interest in IP laws, the same as the interests of grocery store magnates?

The only thing 'not a secret' here is that a particular group is in the minority as far as votes go. No shit - most groups are.

Their policies clearly benefit the wealthy, and are detrimental to people who work for a living. But they need popular support in order to win political office so they can implement their agenda on taxation, de-unionization, etc.

Whose policies? Are you honestly telling me that the Democratic Party doesn't support policies that ridiculously benefit the wealthy, when it happens to be a segment of 'the wealthy' whose support they want or have? Or that the Democratic party doesn't support policies that are detrimental to those who work for a living, as opposed to those who don't?

They have been successful in gaining this popular support by blatantly appealing to religious interests. By emphasizing hot-button issues for religious people (anti-abortion, anti-gay) and espousing vague platitudes (family values, American exceptionalism), they have managed to beguile millions of people into going against their own economic interests.

In other words, the GOP attempts to appeal to a portion of the voting public by mouthing platitudes that portion supports, and sometimes trying to pass legislation said voting public desires? Those sneaky punks!

Second, 'beguile'? First off, it's not even clear they are 'voting against their economic interests'. Second, it's not necessarily a case of their being 'beguiled' if they were.

Here's the trick. If a rational person must always vote for the politician that most promises to advance their own economic interests, then you can hardly fault 'the rich' for doing so - regardless of what party will benefit them. But if it's rational to vote for someone who does NOT advance your economic interests - say, because other promises matter more, or because the way they advance your 'economic interests' is unfair - then it's ludicrous to jump to talk of anyone being 'beguiled'. They may simply have principles.

They support policies that enrich the wealthy, while the economic well-being of the rest of us wastes away, as our homes and jobs are lost.

They purport to support policies that lead to a better economic life for all people. So do the democrats. Both have excuses at the ready when the economy goes to hell, and the economy has gone to hell under both of their watches.

They're both rotten parties that largely benefit the wealthy interests who support them, and various other groups that are concerned only about their own 'economic interests' and to hell with everyone else. And by the way? That attitude doesn't become forgivable just because the proponents are not wealthy.

Crude said...

Al,

It is just a cynical game the Republican Party plays to win religious votes, and indeed, millions of people are so dumb to going against their own economic interests by voting for them

So, the Catholic thing to do is to always vote for the party that supports your own economic interests the most, over all else?

By the way - what are your thoughts on the Democratic Party's abortion support?

-- it is not just the 'religious' issue, but also the pathetic and typically American lure of 'freedom' and 'liberty' (pathetic indeed, since when is America more free than Europe?)

'Europe' is, try as they might, not a country. And what is this comparison supposed to mean anyway? Ignoring for a moment that large parts of western Europe is currently lacking with regards to various rights the GOP tends to favor, what - 'freedom' and 'liberty' are inane things for a party to be concerned with so long as some other country out there enjoys them?

Better yet, 'freedom' and 'liberty' aren't big with the Democrats in terms of platitudes? I mean, other than the sudden switch to silence when it comes to the Patriot Act and the like.

This Catholic recognizes that the Republicans and Democrats are both beholden to a variety of wealthy interests - with some considerable overlap between the two, at times. They both say things they do not mean, that will resonate with particular voters and motivate them. They both pursue policies, often pretty dumb ones, purely to satisfy the relevant portions of their electorate. And the ones with the most resources to offer them tend to call the shots.

And they both see quite a lot of success. They dupe Catholics into supporting the party of unlimited abortion access (the lack of limits to which would make most of 'Europe' barf), they dupe working class people into supporting massive influxes of foreign workers for the purposes of lowering wages, they dupe people into supporting bank bailouts, warrantless cell phone searches, the Mickey Mouse act, idiotic overseas wars, and more.

And they manage most of it because they've somehow convinced a lot of people that it's the OTHER party who is the real, and in effect only, problem - and that a good person will keep their mouths shut about the problems in their own party, because Good People don't hurt the party.

Al Moritz said...

And they both see quite a lot of success. They dupe Catholics into supporting the party of unlimited abortion access (the lack of limits to which would make most of 'Europe' barf),

They dupe Catholics into supporting the party that promises abortion restrictions, while on the national level nothing ever happens -- the promises to overturn Roe v. Wade are just empty talk. Even Chief Justice Roberts admitted that Roe v. Wade is the 'law of the land', and showed no apparent interest in overturning it.

If you are so naive to vote Republican out of moral principle, then I can't help you. And I am not even discussing the resistance of a number of bishops against the immoral Republican policy positions of neglecting the poor.

Al Moritz said...

And by the way, the Pope has affirmed the basic human right of universal healthcare, a position the Republican Party makes no effort to embrace.

Crude said...

They dupe Catholics into supporting the party that promises abortion restrictions, while on the national level nothing ever happens

That rather depends on what you mean by 'national level', Al. Sure, talk of overturning Roe v Wade is a pipe dream for now. I'll certainly grant that many of the politicians who say they are 'pro-life' seem rather full of it - McCain, Romney, etc.

On the other hand, which party has been having some success at the state level? Are you saying that voting for the GOP at the state and local representative level can make sense?

If you are so naive to vote Republican out of moral principle, then I can't help you.

First off, where did I say who I vote for? My entire contribution to this thread has been to be laughing at defenses of the Democratic Party as if they were a really fantastic party whose flaws paled in comparison to the GOP's - and doing so while knocking the GOP.

Second, I beseech thee in the name of Christ Almighty, *help me*. Convince me that the Democratic Party is the party of the True Catholic. We share a religion. You seem to be clearly convinced that the Democratic Party is the only party to support.

*Help me*. PLEASE. Answer my questions, give me your defenses, and help me see the light. This is not sarcasm - it's damn serious.

And I am not even discussing the resistance of a number of bishops against the immoral Republican policy positions of neglecting the poor.

So I should follow the direction of Catholic bishops? Including with regards to the Health Care bill?

I'm sure you do too, Al? Or will you tell me that breaking with the unanimous view of American bishops is justified at times, speaking as a Catholic?

Al Moritz said...

Second, I beseech thee in the name of Christ Almighty, *help me*. Convince me that the Democratic Party is the party of the True Catholic. We share a religion. You seem to be clearly convinced that the Democratic Party is the only party to support.

I never said any of this. Re-read my posts please. There are arguments for voting Republican for moral reasons, and there are arguments for voting Democrat for moral reasons.

I just don't buy the argument that Catholics are a priori morally obliged to vote Republican, and the USCCB voting guide purposefully eschews this argument. It also warns against being 'single-issue' voters.

Crude said...

Al,

I never said any of this. Re-read my posts please. There are arguments for voting Republican for moral reasons, and there are arguments for voting Democrat for moral reasons.

Wonderful. Can you please tell me three moral reasons to vote for the Republicans and the Democrats?

Also, is there a diversity of opinion in both parties on any issues? Help me out here.

I just don't buy the argument that Catholics are a priori morally obliged to vote Republican, and the USCCB voting guide purposefully eschews this argument.

Did someone give that argument here?

And again, how about the USCCB's view of the current health care plan? Do you agree with them?

im-skeptical said...

"My entire contribution to this thread has been to be laughing at defenses of the Democratic Party..."

As I said, crude has a reading comprehension problem.

Al Moritz said...

Did someone give that argument here?

Not here, but on a prominent Catholic website that turned out to be rather right-wing. Many of their members were impervious against rational argument, including argument that used weighty documents by the Catholic Church itself. The discussion was rather exasperating, as you can imagine. The fact that I had a few Catholics on my side was but a mild consolation.

And again, how about the USCCB's view of the current health care plan? Do you agree with them?

I understand their moral concern, yes. However, the question is if that moral concern should be overriding all other considerations. The USCCB voting guide rather urges to weigh all issues against one another in one's own conscience, and as I pointed out, warns against being 'single-issue' voters.

Crude said...

Skep,

Quiver, quiver. ;)

Al,

Not here, but on a prominent Catholic website that turned out to be rather right-wing.

What does this matter to this conversation? And does 'impervious to rational argument' simply mean that they ultimately disagreed with you?

Here's a good test for your rational argument meter: do you think it's possible to oppose Obamacare and to have any intellectually and morally justified reasons to do so? Because if not, yours is the rationality I question.

The USCCB voting guide rather urges to weigh all issues against one another

That's nice. Let's see what we have here:

On the one hand, the universal opposition by Catholic bishops - who range from left to right on the political and even religious spectrum - to Obamacare as it currently stands.

On the other hand, we have your interpretation of a voting guide written *BY* the USCCB.

Exactly which sentiment carries greater weight here, Al? This is a little like someone telling me that they've interpreted the American Heart Association's pamphlet to be A-OK with eating a Bacon Explosion on the grounds that it mentions 'some amount of bacon can be part of a healthy diet', and who keeps referring to the pamphlet as a defense when it's pointed out that all the doctors in the AHA regard it as, believe it or not, unhealthy.

Here's my own personal take, one that sets me against both parties: I am increasingly convinced by subsidiarity. That means that while I may favor a mixed various of health care initiatives (including a combination of charity and government run options), I prioritize the smallest, most local options over the rest. Therefore, I can't support a sprawling federal answer to the problem - I think there are better ways to handle it, in addition to concerns I have about the size and power and reach of the federal government.

Let me guess: I'm a sinner, crushing the windpipe of the poor under my goddamn heel, because I don't blindly support the political solution to the problem that you do? Tell me what Catholic principles I betray by my position.

And by the way - I'm still waiting to see those moral justifications for voting Republican or Democrat. Because frankly? I think that was a bluff. I suspect you'd be loathe to give any moral reasons to vote for the party you despise, or moral reasons to oppose the party you favor, despite there being ample reasons for both.

BenYachov said...

When it comes to politics as long as you try to follow & apply the moral law it is pretty much up to your prudent rational judgement.

There is no dogma that says I must be for or against Obamacare(sans the fascist component to force Catholics to provide birth control & abortion to the heathen).

There is no Catholic teaching that says I must be for or against big government or "taxing the rich".

Now having said this my prudent judgement tells me liberalism for the most part sucks more than anything that has ever sucked before. (Well maybe some things suck more but it still sucks a lot)

Bob doesn't have to agree with me.

Crude most likely mostly does.

But the three of us are brothers in the Faith.

Crude said...

By the way, the idea that it's only the GOP that uses religion to advance its aims is a laugh. We see some of it in this thread - treating Christianity as the justification for one program or another.

We've seen it with the Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. We see it in black churches, we see it in the immigration debate, we see it just about everywhere when it happens to align with one or another cause.

Invoking God's will when it comes to Kermit Gosnell is, apparently, quite distasteful. But for Obamacare? Totally different story. Believe it or not, self-identified liberal Christians can be suckered by religious appeals just as much as conservatives can.

Oh, and the best part? There should not BE a liberal-conservative divide among sincere believing Christians. Even if we disagree, we should be able to discuss these things amongst each other. But people who are hostile to Christianity and who value their political party and political views over religion in general are more than happy to drive a wedge between both sides - and both sides are packed with people dumb enough to fall for it.

im-skeptical said...

"Believe it or not, self-identified liberal Christians can be suckered by religious appeals just as much as conservatives can."

crude finally says something true.

Crude said...

crude finally says something true.

And there you have Skep's mental process in a nutshell, folks. Is the statement something he likes or approves of? Truth, truth, it's the truth!

Is the statement something he dislikes or disapproves of? Lie! Lie! It's gotta be a lie!

Such is the quivering of the non-skeptical. ;)

im-skeptical said...

No worries. I'm sure it was an accident.

Al Moritz said...

I had said:
Not here, but on a prominent Catholic website that turned out to be rather right-wing.

Crude:
What does this matter to this conversation? And does 'impervious to rational argument' simply mean that they ultimately disagreed with you?

You are awfully quick to make judgements about discussions that you have not even followed. No, I don't have problems with people disagreeing with me, but I do have problems with people who, in a fundamentalist manner, claim their way to read certain Church documents is the only one, when it can be shown with certainty that this is not the case and there are alternative readings possible because these documents are *purposefully* ambiguous in places.

Here's a good test for your rational argument meter: do you think it's possible to oppose Obamacare and to have any intellectually and morally justified reasons to do so? Because if not, yours is the rationality I question.

Yes, I think it's possible to oppose Obamacare and to have any intellectually and morally justified reasons to do so. And no, you don't need to question my rationality. By the way, I admire and appreciate the way you defend theism against (the in many cases hollow and uninformed thinking of) atheists here, and I even approve of your abrasive tone when appropriate. But perhaps you could be more open with respect to opinions of your religious brethren in things they disagree with you, without right away questioning their rationality. I am not a fundie like many (not all) atheists here.

Crude said...

Al,

You are awfully quick to make judgements about discussions that you have not even followed.

It was a question, not an judgment. Because frankly, that's often what 'they were completely impervious to rational discussion' ultimately cashes out to when it comes to politics. Granted, that was one snarky question, but a judgment it was not. Feel free to provide a link to the site, and I will see what happened.

But perhaps you could be more open with respect to opinions of your religious brethren in things they disagree with you, without right away questioning their rationality. I am not a fundie like many (not all) atheists here.

Al, look at this from my perspective. This conversation turned political when I saw an intelligence-challenged Cultist of Gnu babble on about a broad list of political sins, who then said 'And don't even think of saying the Democrats do the same things'. You supported that without qualification. I will be frank: I think anyone who insinuates that it's only one party that is beholden to corporate interests or the interests of the wealthy (among other things) has hit a point of delusion, or deception. Tell me that only one party is the party of gun ownership or 'reproductive rights', and I'll just question the analysis and point out issues of qualification. Tell me that only one party is favored by a sizable number of billionaires and corporate/business interests, and I think we have a larger problem.

And I am very much open to fellow Christians who disagree with me, particularly on politics. What makes me bristle is Christian left-right hostility, where the Christians who vote Republican are clearly a bunch of deluded saps (and I maintain that 'voting against their economic interests' is a rotten standard, particularly for Christians, to use to measure this), or the Christians who support liberal economic policies and welfare state initiatives are a bunch of closet communist atheists. The former showed up in this thread, so I reacted to it. We are being played by *both* parties on that front.

Yeah, I'm abrasive. But I purposefully strive to maintain a civil tone with theists and non-cult atheists generally, and Christians particularly, when disagreements are reached. This is not made easier by broad-stroke bashing of theists on the other side of a political spectrum, or who largely vote for one of the two unfortunately 'major' parties.

Short version: I'm open to disagreement between Christians on these subjects. But abrasive, broad attacks on very large classes of Christians makes it difficult not to respond abrasively in turn.

Al Moritz said...

Short version: I'm open to disagreement between Christians on these subjects. But abrasive, broad attacks on very large classes of Christians makes it difficult not to respond abrasively in turn.

Fair enough. Maybe I am too much burned by fundie right-wing Catholics, and thus have an overly strong reaction. In any case, those Catholics have gloriously achieved the opposite of what they wanted, they drove me more firmly into the 'other camp', instead of 'converting me from my sins and erroneous ways' (no joke, that's what their stated mission was).

Crude said...

Fair enough. Maybe I am too much burned by fundie right-wing Catholics, and thus have an overly strong reaction.

I have no doubt that there are people, Christians and not, who regard anything short of full-blown laissez-faire capitalism as evil. On the flipside, I encounter many Christians who regard the only acceptable moral position politically to be 'huge welfare state', and seem blind to the dangers of it. But either way, it happens.

im-skeptical said...

"This conversation turned political when I saw an intelligence-challenged Cultist of Gnu babble on about a broad list of political sins, who then said 'And don't even think of saying the Democrats do the same things'."

What we have here is failure to communicate. My comments were about the way Republicans are subverting democracy by undermining free and fair elections. It is you, my comprehension-impaired friend, who insisted in seeing a much broader attack on all things Republican, and responding to arguments that were not being made.

With regard to making judgments about conversations you have not even followed, it's actually worse than that. You don't follow the discussions you are involved in. Spare us your pretensions of intellectual superiority. They only serve to show what a buffoon you really are.

Al Moritz said...

You supported that without qualification.

And yes, I do think that Skep was right on the money when it comes to the broader cynical game of the Republican Party in fishing 'conservative' Christians. Which does not take away the fact that there may be some Christians who vote Republican for well-thought out reasons, and the fact that there may be a few Republican politicians who are actually honest in their social conservatism.

And I stand by my and Skep's claim that many Republican voters do vote against their own economic interests, for the wrong reasons. If you really find their economic model the right one, after thoroughly having thought about it, that's a different story.

Al Moritz said...

My comments were about the way Republicans are subverting democracy by undermining free and fair elections.

And that's true too.

Crude said...

Skep,

It is you, my comprehension-impaired friend, who insisted in seeing a much broader attack on all things Republican, and responding to arguments that were not being made.

I made no comment about 'an attack on all things Republican'. Go ahead, blast the party for a variety of its sins. The stupidity was, once again, "And don't even think of claiming that Democrats do the same things."

That is insane, and you've been fleeing from that comment - particularly with regards to 'corporate sponsorship - this entire thread after I criticized it. Once again: you're welcome.

Spare us your pretensions of intellectual superiority.

1: There's no 'us' here. I don't claim to be more intelligent than Al, or Victor, or Dan, or most others. You? You're an idiot. Everyone here, with the exception of Linton, is more intelligent than you.

2: I'm not the only one who notices this.

Go put on a football helmet and play outside, kid. You'll get extra graham crackers if you don't run into a lamp post today. ;)

Al Moritz said...

On the flipside, I encounter many Christians who regard the only acceptable moral position politically to be 'huge welfare state', and seem blind to the dangers of it.

I an definitely not blind to the dangers of it. There is the danger of abuse in any approach to policy. I agree with you the the principle of subsidiarity, which the Catholic Church supports, would be ideal, but we do not live in an ideal world with all perfect people. In such a world I'll take the next best compromise, even if this compromise has flaws on its own.

Crude said...

Al,

And yes, I do think that Skep was right on the money when it comes to the broader cynical game of the Republican Party in fishing 'conservative' Christians.

I will say it again: if you believe that only one political party engages in cynical games of manipulating people, only one political party uses propaganda, only one political party is beholden to wealthy and corporate interests, then you are deluded. In fact, if you don't believe that both are largely similar to the ultimate degree in which they do both - if you say 'Well sometimes the Democratic are kinda-sorta bad but the GOP is ALWAYS TERRIBLE', yep. You're deluded.

I've pointed out the money they receive. I can point at the support they get from the Entertainment industry, among other sections. I can point out quite a lot more.

And I stand by my and Skep's claim that many Republican voters do vote against their own economic interests, for the wrong reasons.

'For the wrong reasons'? See, this is a new qualification. And what are the right reasons? What are the wrong reasons?

And 'Republicans undermine free and fair elections'? How? It better not be through the use of corporate money and power, because demonstrably the Democrats use this too. It better not be owing to propaganda, because once more, the Democrats make ample and excessive use of this. It better not be via vote manipulation, because I'll refer to the stories showing democrats involved in such.

And I am still waiting for the 3 moral reasons to support the Republican party over the Democrats. Let's hear them. Because again, talk of abrasiveness aside, I'm skeptical that you'll give any.

Crude said...

Al,

I agree with you the the principle of subsidiarity, which the Catholic Church supports, would be ideal, but we do not live in an ideal world with all perfect people. In such a world I'll take the next best compromise, even if this compromise has flaws on its own.

There is no 'compromise' between subsidiarity and Obamacare. They are poles apart in terms of extremes. It makes no sense to regard Obamacare as a 'compromise' on the path to subsidiarity, anymore than it makes sense to regard full and unrestricted abortion up to delivery as a pro-life compromise.

Crude said...

Al,

Let me ask another question.

I an definitely not blind to the dangers of it. There is the danger of abuse in any approach to policy.

Humor me. What are the dangers of the welfare state, as you see them?

Al Moritz said...

It makes no sense to regard Obamacare as a 'compromise' on the path to subsidiarity,

I never said that Obamacare was a 'compromise' or a step on the path to subsidiarity. Perhaps you might be more careful in interpreting other people's posts.

Crude said...

Al,

I never said that Obamacare was a 'compromise' or a step on the path to subsidiarity.

I thought you were, since I cited subsidiarity specifically as one reason I opposed Obamacare. Fair enough - withdrawn.

But I still await a reply to my other questions.

Crude said...

Actually, Al, I have a great idea.

I've made a thread just for people like yourself - Christian/Catholic liberals. We can take the politics out of Victor's thread. Bob Prokop and any other liberal Christians are welcome to take part in this too, if they so choose.

I've been meaning to do this for a while, so hey, this is as good an opportunity as any.

B. Prokop said...

"Bob Prokop and any other liberal Christians are welcome to take part in this too, if they so choose."

Nope. A vow is a vow. No politics for me on the internet.

Crude said...

Nope. A vow is a vow. No politics for me on the internet.

Your call, Bob, and I won't harass you about it either way.

But I want to make clear what I'm offering here. I'm not trying to debate anyone, or prove them wrong for its own sake. My concern here is that sincere Christians on the left and right are needlessly hostile towards each other. I do not think economically left-wing Christians necessarily understand where many economically right-wing Christians are coming from. I want both sides to understand each other better, and that's not going to happen without both sides explaining how they see the other side.

So the offer stands. I'm interested in Christians here - believers in God and the resurrection of Christ - first and foremost, because that is where I think common ground exists. And common ground is essential.