God Bless Our Anti-Christian First Amendment

I got another one of those angry emails the other day berating my secular lifestyle, and accusing me of promoting an “anti-American/anti-Christian” agenda. “Our legal system is based on Christian law,” my pen pal wrote, and yet “people like you” (liberals…? Democrats…? Jews…?) “won’t even allow the Ten Commandments to be displayed in public schools.”

Which got me thinking… if the framers of our Constitution really did intend this to be a Christian nation, they sure didn’t read their Bible, else why would they place our First Amendment in direct contradiction to Commandments one through four?

First Amendment
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Commandments One through Four
1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image…
3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

Clearly, the Establishment Clause alone explicitly contradicts the first four Commandments (while our precious freedoms of speech and of the press doubly disown the Third Commandment, God dammit). If the God of Exodus is, as written, “a jealous God,” then the Establishment Clause must really piss Him off.

In fact, of the full Ten Commandments, only three, the prohibitions against stealing, murdering and bearing false witness, are currently enshrined in U.S. law in any legally enforceable manner… and, well, they’re kinda obvious as far as moral dictums go, not to mention as basic ground rules for operating a functional society. As for the Tenth Commandment, “Thou shalt not covet,” it is somewhat ironic to note that its widely practiced violation has become an indispensable component of our dynamic, consumption-driven market economy.

Whether the framers of the Constitution self-identified as Christians or Deists is beside the point, for they were no doubt well educated in Biblical verse, and thus well understood, in a nation largely settled by religious refugees of many different faiths and denominations, both the practical and symbolic impact of the Establishment Clause. Had they intended this to be a Christian nation, they would have enshrined the Ten Commandments in the Constitution, rather than enshrining a Bill of Rights whose first of ten Amendments clearly and intentionally undermines any legal claim supporting the core defining value of the Judeo-Christian tradition.

In America, we have the fundamental right to worship any god or gods in any manner we choose — to bow before idols, to curse the Lord, to forget the Sabbath — even to publicly deny the existence of divinity entirely. So to accuse me of being “anti-American” is to get it backwards; it is those who would make this a Christian nation who are anti-American, for to impose their law as our law, and to legally enforce their Commandments on us, would require tearing up our Constitution, and repealing our most fundamentally American right… a right that gives lie to both the claims and ambitions of our nation’s small but noisy Christianist minority.

Comments

  1. 3

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    “In fact, of the full Ten Commandments, only three, the prohibitions against stealing, murdering and bearing false witness, are currently enshrined in U.S. law in any legally enforceable manner…”

    … and, interestingly, are the three that, after adultery, self-described “Christians” and “patriots” violate most prolifically …

  2. 4

    ArtFart spews:

    Even before they get themselves all tangled up in the contradicion between the Constitution prohibiting “establishment of religion” and imposition of any sort of ecclesial law, the dominionist right always seems to forget the minor detail that the Ten Commandments aren’t “Christian”–they’re Jewish. Christ specifically pointed out that adherence to the “old” Mosaic rules was merely an outcome of the “new” law boiled down into two stipulations: loving God with “heart, soul, mind and strength”, and “loving one’s neighbor as onesself”. An awful lot of the invective posted here and expressed elsewhere in the political arena by self-proclaimed “Christians” seems to be more than a little off the mark on that second part.

  3. 5

    Alki Postings spews:

    The Flying Spaghetti Monster is the ONLY true god, and these sad mistaken Christians will drown in an eternal bowl of marinara sauce (scalding hot too). ROTFLMAO.

    These SUPER IDIOTS don’t realize the only reason the United States is such a religious nation (compared to most of the industrial world) is BECAUSE we have the freedom to be Catholic, Mormon, Baptist, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, etc. If our government set “the” religion like all of the nations who these folks supposedly hate (Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc) then we sure would have a ‘forced’ 100% religious population officially, but it would be entirely fake.

    Irony! It’s the driving force of the entire universe!

    P.S. Good point ArtFart! The anti-gay anti-science “Christians” are NOT Christian. You don’t see them stalking the sidewalks with quotes from Jesus about how gays are evil (because there aren’t any), or forcing the sayings of Jesus (“resist not evil”, “easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God”). Nope. They’re neo-Jews who just quote random (but never ALL) of bits from the Old Testament. These are folks who hate Jesus and every liberal whining “bleeding heart” thing he said. They just like the cool angry parts of the Old Testament. Funny.

  4. 6

    spews:

    Whether the framers of the Constitution self-identified as Christians or Deists is beside the point…

    Notice nobody ever talks about the sheetrockers of the Constitution being wise, always the framers. Do you know how fucking hard it is to find a powdered wig mullet?
    Sure, hemp was everywhere, and there all kinds of municipal contract writing day-laborers, but it was the sheetrockers that set the surface for arcane Senate Rules on sub-committee party seniority that allow idiots like Jeff Sessions to breath air in the Judiciary sub-committee.

    BTW, there is no god, the Jesus freaks could build walking paths of good intentions made of stone tablets with Ten Commandments on each tablet to every jail holding every crooked politician, for all I care.

  5. 8

    ArtFart spews:

    Maybe we’d be better off going back to the Code of Hammurabi, which contained among other things provisions for many forms of fraud and slander to be punishable by death.

  6. 9

    Blue John spews:

    Good post, but the point is lost on the people who need to understand it.
    They. Don’t. Care.

  7. 10

    uptown spews:

    @9

    I think the target audience is the mushy center. Those who are easily influenced by the self-proclaimed “christians”, because they never learned our country’s history or read/understood the New Testament.

  8. 11

    Blue John spews:

    @10 Unless this article going to be posted to, I donno, the hannity forums and Free Republic it’s just preaching to the choir.
    They are the people who need to think about these things.

  9. 12

    spews:

    Appropriate post on Yom Kippur, I’d say.

    For the record, Goldy and others, I apologize for any slights — intended or inadvertent — I’ve made against you in the last year.

  10. 14

    spews:

    Goldy, you are fucking awesome, dude. I give you, um, a gold star. Yeah.

    If sticking guns into the faces of other people so you can grab their resources isn’t a violation of the 10th Commandment, I don’t know what is! Where is that violated? Oh, I don’t know, maybe throughout the entire history of Europeans in the Americas?

  11. 15

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    You’re right in part, Goldy. A lot of the folks posting comments seem to be evangelical atheists, which is its’ own contradiction, but never mind that.

    This isn’t a structurally Christian nation, and the establishment clause thankfully guarantees that. The Church of England is a social club more than a religion, as an example of what happens when a state sponsered faith is established.

    But the virulent anti-Christian rhetoric is disturbing. I don’t comment on what to me seem oddnesses in Buddhism or Taoism. I don’t know much about the Jewish faith and make no comment at all about it. But, really, the hatred expressed toward Christians is disconcerting. Categorizing Christians as a “small but vocal minority,” is just plain factually incorrect. And while Christianity has its’ share of kooks and fringe loonies, it also has a majority of decent people trying their best to be better people. It may be a personal oddity, but that doesn’t seem a sinister goal to me.

    It seems also that the hatred shown by your posters, and yourself, is misplaced. It’s like saying I’m a Yankees fan so everyone from Chicago is a bastard. Republicans garner a larger share of the Christian vote in this country, so you all hate Christians on that account?

  12. 16

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Just so you know, so far as I understand it from my long ago confirmation classes, the New Testament doesn’t cancel out the Old in Christianity. Christ was considered the fulfillment of the law. My limited understanding of Judaism suggests that if a Messiah came along whom you believed to be ‘legitimate,’ the same would be true for you. Until then it seems that the folks proclaiming the Old Testament the only basis for a religion would in fact be Jews, not Christians.

  13. 17

    spews:

    lost @15,

    You misunderstand. I wrote “small but noisy Christianist minority,” not “small but noisy Christian minority,” to specifically make clear that the Christianists — those who seek to impose Biblical law — are but a small minority of Christians.

    My use of the word “Christianist” is drawn from the definition put forth by Andrew Sullivan.

  14. 18

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    The link is illuminating. I apologize for the comment about hatred expressed by you. Thanks.

  15. 20

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    President Obama is “very realistic in his views on health care … more moderate than liberal on this question.” — GOP Sen. Olympia Snowe

  16. 21

    The Clabber Girl (check out my dirndl) spews:

    Why do Christians always think of the ten commandments as a Christian document?

    I’m sure many Jews would be perfectly happy for Christians to post the ten commandments wherever the hell they please.

    I know that Kinky Friedman is in favor of having the ten commandments posted in schools all over Texas — and discussed on a daily basis.

    Actually discussing the meaning and content of the ten commandments would negate most of what the Christianist Clerics preach.

  17. 22

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    More of the same from the Atheist Progressive Krowd.
    Good luck in your journeys.

    BTW, if y’all don’t believe in God’s Grace and Eternal Life….why are you so concerned with so much?? After all, you believe you live & die…that’s it, right?

    Seems like a lot of wasted energy by you KLOWNS.
    I suppose you can give me a lot of BS about FUTURE GENERATIONS and such. Sounds good, but that really isn’t your motivation. It’s about power and obsession with Earthly things that will all evaporate in the twinkling of an eye.

    It seems mighty arrogant and lame-brained to actually believe that all we SEE was a happenstance…coincidence of matter meeting at just the right instant. I prefer to believe there is an all-Powerful CREATOR who had His hand on all of this…good & bad.
    And the purpose of life??
    To know God better.

    Your purpose??
    To post on HorsesAss.org??

  18. 23

    spews:

    lost @18,

    I vaguely remember similar confusion in the threads the last time I used the word “Christianist” so I’ve updated the post to add that link to the word in the text.

  19. 24

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Why Health Care Pass In The Senate

    Because Maine’s Republican Senator Olympia Snowe will vote to break a GOP filibuster, that’s why.

    Why? Because Maine’s citizens/voters can’t afford the status quo, and won’t tolerate their congressional delegation voting for the status quo. They’re demanding change.

    “What drives [Snowe] … is … representing a small … poor state where … piecemeal efforts at health reform … ignite[d] an explosion in medical costs. Maine, whose insurance market is dominated by one large firm, pays some of the highest premiums in the country, and they are rising nearly four times as fast as wages are. Much of that is falling on the small businesses that are the heart of the state’s economy. … For many of those businesspeople, Snowe says, … ‘the costs are astronomical’[.] During her last re-election campaign, in 2006, an angry storekeeper … shoved his bill from Blue Cross Blue Shield at Snowe and demanded, ‘What are you going to do about this?'”

    (Quoted from Time magazine under fair use; for complete article see http://www.time.com/time/polit.....29,00.html.)

  20. 25

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @22 It’s good you believe what you do, because you’re going to need all the Grace you can get, Republican.

  21. 26

    The Clabber Girl (check out my dirndl) spews:

    The Good Samaritan of the Christianist Right would demand that the beggar by the side of the road take more personal responsibility.

    Thanks for the advice, Christian right! You’ve been a great help — and all at no trouble or expense to yourself.

  22. 27

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @22 (continued) However, if you agree to change your evil and selfish ways, I’ll put in a good word for your salvation the next time I talk to the Great Mother Rabbit Spirit in one of my dreams, and maybe She will intercede with your Christianist God for you.

  23. 28

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I’m a nativist. I believe in a divinity that exists in the wind, leaves, clouds, and rabbits. And even in lettuce, which is way I always say grace before I begin chomping on Her.

  24. 29

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Hey Rog–
    I remember you repeatedly told us in the past you were a Christian.
    False declaration.
    You don’t care…now.
    When you gasp for your last breath, I suspect you won’t care what anyone (Leftist Atheist or Christian Right) have to say. It will be between you and your Creator.
    I can assure you it ain’t some Rabbit!

  25. 30

    spews:

    Meanwhile, at the City Council, they prepare to buy software.

    Electing council by neighborhood is about to cost half a million dollars, hey, at least the city will know where garlic fries sell well.

    C.B. 116638
    Lifting a budget proviso to purchase a Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) system: The proposed legislation lifts a budget proviso adopted by the City Council during the 2009 budget process in order to allow the expenditure of the CRM project’s $470,000 remaining in 2009 for planning, procurement, purchase, and implementation of a CRM system. For the past two years, the city has been exploring ways to improve the quality of services offered to its customers.  The web-enabled CRM system allows departments to capture, triage, track, and resolve customer inquiries, requests and complaints. Committee recommends a PASS.

  26. 31

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Re 26

    With respect, personal responsibility is a virtue. It is what makes life interesting and growth possible. I would not trade one of my mistakes with all they cost me for a lifetime of ease at someone else’ expense.

    There is room for charity which doesn’t ask questions. With my money though I’ll donate to organizations who are reputable and involved with the problem. I won’t ever give money to a corner beggar. This isn’t cruelty or mean spiritedness. I just know one will use the money for actual good, the other may not.

    Conservatives have been shown frequently to be more generous to charities. Interesting trivia.

  27. 32

    spews:

    @15 — I happen to be a Christian myself, thank you very much. Being a parishioner of St. Mark’s Cathedral, I find it kind of funny that you refer to the Church of England. . . .

  28. 33

    spews:

    @31 — Conservatives have been shown frequently to be more generous to charities.

    This is either a lie or incredibly misleading. Conservatives are frequently more generous to churches. Churches are sometimes great sources of charity and sometimes not. Often in the more obnoxious Christian denominations, any charity that exists at all exists solely for the members of the congregation or comes with other outrageous conditions.

  29. 34

    Sam Adams spews:

    Blah Blah Blah…………

    Why bother posting about something you don’t really give a shit about?

    ‘Cause the holy rollers might take over? Umm, I don’t think that’s gonna happen any time soon. **Admit it, neither do you.**

    Because some holy roller called you a name?

    And all this time I thought you had a thicker skin than that.

    “Best thing you ever wrote” Talk about a low bar.

  30. 35

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    I haven’t ever felt the issue of America being called a Christain Nation or not was all that important. We are a Nation compromised mostly of Christians. We have a Right to Free Speech and Freedom of Assembly and Freedom of Religion (NOT FREEDOM FROM RELIGION).

    Look, this will be debated until the End Times. Christians believe God is the Creator and in Control….so it’s kind of moot.
    But argue with yourself if it feels good Goldy!

  31. 36

    mark spews:

    Goldy, if you accidentally fell off a cruise ship and nobody saw or heard you screaming I would bet my life that within about thirty seconds you would become religious as a mother fucker. Ever heard the saying “No athiests in a foxhole”.

  32. 37

    mark spews:

    35 Mr Cynical, all your posts are excellent and well thought out. Liberals are full of inner conflict and hypocracy. They think nothing of popping the skull of a baby in the womb and vacuuming it out but feel obligated to take a man who slit the throat of an elderly woman and poured gas on her, to the fair for a good time and then allow the bastard to escape. See in my thought pattern would be pop the skull of the murdering bastard and take the child to the fair for a good time. Dr Savage thinks that liberals hate guns because they’re afaid if one is around them, they might have a “bad day” and kill themselves. Life is hard, it’s even harder when you’re liberal. Look how jealous Rabbit is of anyone with a little success. One big turmoil of emotion.

  33. 38

    spews:

    “No athiests in a foxhole”

    Jesus freaks project their thoughts onto other in stressful situation as a coping mechanism.

    Make no mistake, I do not believe in “God”, foxhole, or not.

    If you want to waist your time with that hobby, fine, but nobody is going to force me to lie and say I do think there is a god.

    Churches need to pay their fucking taxes.

  34. 40

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @36 So who’s gonna help him accidentally fall off a cruise ship? Got somebody in mind? Personally, I think he’ll still be blogging long after your ideology is dust.

  35. 41

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @35 No, dumbshit, Christians believe in a God who gave us free will and the responsibility of making our own decisions for good or ill. Only Republicans believe in a controlling God.

  36. 42

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @37 “Mr Cynical, all your posts are excellent and well thought out.”

    In the same sense that all your posts are pathetically comic.

  37. 43

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Re 31

    Not that it matters from where the aid to the less fortunate derives. That was a direct response to Clabber Girls assertion that conservatives are less generous. Historically and currently conservatives are more generous to charities across socio-economic lines. This could be because of ideological imperative, religious affiliation or some other blend of causes. It doesn’t really matter.

    I don’t know that it makes it less worthwhile to give to a church based homeless shelter or food bank than a secular one, but whatever.

    Nevertheless, I know that Saint Marks practices significant charity itself. I don’t question the mission, aims or motives of Saint Marks. I don’t fully understand your arrogance in questioning that of other “more obnoxious” denominations. More obnoxious to you? Does that make them less charitable or less christian? I readily admit my personality isn’t cut out for the Southern Baptist style for instance, but I don’t question their basic faith.

    If I offended by the C of E remark I apologize. I was going off of admittedly anecdotal comments from English friends. I shouldn’t have spoken where I didn’t have personal knowledge.

  38. 44

    The Clabber Girl (check out my dirndl) spews:

    re 31: “I would not trade one of my mistakes with all they cost me for a lifetime of ease at someone else’ expense.”

    Well, good for you! I get the warm fuzzies just thinking about all you’ve learned from your plentiful errors and mistakes.

    Thing is, lost, helping someone in need is not the same thing as providing them with a life of comfort and ease.

    God himself could not breach the wall of obtuseness you’ve built around yourself — and you know what? That’s a mistake I’m happy to help you with, halfwit.

  39. 45

    ArtFart spews:

    The level of discourse in this thread is predictably deteriorating. We have righties dancing around the poor-people-are-lazy mantra, and non-religious lefties charging that church charities mostly benefit churches or their members.

    Neither of these claims is credible. If you go to a homeless shelter and engage some of those staying there, I can guarantee you’ll hear a plethora of stories, some of them alarming beyond the most lurid you could imagine. Similarly, as Joel Connelly (who’s Anglican, by the way) has pointed out, Catholic Community Services is the larges provider of social-welfare services (to all, not just Catholics or Christians) in western Washington after the government. Furthermore, we who contribute to it and similar organizations will be called upon to pick up more and more of the slack as the continuing deterioration of the economy (despite whatever the hell Ben Bernanke thinks) whittles away at the tax base as it swells the ranks of those in need.

  40. 46

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Re 41:

    “Only Republicans believe in a controlling God.”

    That just may take some kind of prize for ideological myopia. I’m a republican leaning voter. I’m sincere in my belief that less government is best, and enthusiastic in my politics. But I really don’t think God, or Buddha, or Jehovah or whatever you choose to call the deity has a d or r after his name.

  41. 47

    The Clabber Girl (check out my dirndl) spews:

    Lost in whatever is always quick to remind us that ‘conservatives’ donate more than liberals. Funny, Goodwill doesn’t have a liberal/conservative box to check — but when it comes to bogus charitable ‘donations’ on their tax forms, I’m sure conservatives outshine us liberals ten to one.

    Why else would Republicans fret about Obama lowering the amount that you can deduct for charitable donations? Are there personal financial strings tied to Conservative help for the poor?

  42. 48

    The Clabber Girl (check out my dirndl) spews:

    re 46: Christianist Clerics preach mostly about ‘angry Jesus’ — the one who thwacks the mustard bush for failing to produce seeds.Or runs around the temple berating the moneychangers.

  43. 49

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Re 44 and 47

    Good luck with the uncontrolled anger Clabber Girl.

    I only mentioned the donation stats to refute the hostile and irrational claim that all right leaning conservatives are mean spirited. This is obviously no more true than that all liberals think or act a certain way.

    Obtuseness works both ways. I admit to seeing the world through an ideological lens as part of the human condition. It’s something I work on, but human reason is always filtered through a selective process, conscious or not. The thing that bugs me is folks on either side who insist that they see the world clearly and the other side is stupid and crazy.

    Have a nice day.

  44. 50

    ArtFart spews:

    @36, @40 My wife pointed something out to me that I’d been too dense to spot myself–lately, there’s been a slowly increasing frequency of people disappearing from cruise ships. Lots of people in their 50’s and up are reaching retirement (or it’s being forced on them) with their pensions yanked, their 401K’s decimated and their health insurance tenuous. For someone facing the prospect of a bleak and undignified old age, possibly with your faith shaken and suffering from depression that you can’t afford to get treated, why not use up the last of your credit card’s limit booking a cruise, spending one final week in the lap of luxury, then jump overboard on the last night out? The chilly waters of the Northwest or Alaska would serve up a quick and relatively painless death.

  45. 52

    The Clabber Girl (check out my dirndl) spews:

    re 46: “I’m sincere in my belief that less government is best….”

    I don’t doubt your sincerity. I just think you are myopic about what constitutes a power that rivals or eclipses what you have been conditioned to think of as ‘government’.

    Corporate business organization was limited by the founding fathers to specific projects, after which, the corporation was to be disbanded — the Erie Canal project being a case in point.

    Corporate domination of the American citizens’ lives is a governmental abuse that you and others like you seem curiously sanguine about.

    How can you be so obtuse? Goldy has made it clear that he is talking about the Christianist Right — not you.

  46. 53

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Re 48

    I don’t care or know what faith or lack thereof you profess.

    Having said that there is theological validity in saying that Jewish people can see Christ as an interesting teacher, but not divine. An athiest could do so also, though few are that comfortable with their beliefs. Mostly they are the Christopher Hitchens type. Say as much as you can in a deliberately rude and arrogant way to demean and belittle, but never just accept that others believe differently. You know, that type.

    However a Christian, if he or she is one, doesn’t have an ‘angry Jesus,’ and a Christ of the Beatitudes. It’s kind of all or nothing. Something can be learned from the chasing of the money changers out of the temple. Something can be learned from the commandment to love others as you love yourself. It isn’t either or. It’s both or nothing. Just to clear up a misunderstanding you have. Hope this helps.

  47. 54

    The Clabber Girl (check out my dirndl) spews:

    re 49: My anger is very controlled. “Judge not lest ye be judged.”

    And in case you have not noticed, I’m judging you right back, hypocrite. You can’t answer the issues I bring up, so you characterize me as one who possesses ‘unbridled anger’.

  48. 55

    hnmt is a prick dot com spews:

    Why does Goldy hate Christo-Americans?

    The stunning ease with which the left detects racism in almost every whisper or shout of dissent is balanced by the left’s bigotry and bias against Christians who take Christianity seriously. Christians are the only demographic that can be hate-speeched into silence and submission to the progressive agenda.

  49. 56

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Re 52

    If you know of a way to curtail the power of the multinational corporation I’m all ears.

    I’m cynical enough to believe that one of 2 things will happen though. We will have the megacorps based in the US and getting us something, however small, or another country will. Either way the money and influence these companies have isn’t going to be limited anytime soon, more’s the pity. I understand and agree with your concerns, but don’t see how the moneyed interests of the Democrats in Congress are making it better than those of the Republicans.

    I’m a little confused about the relevance of the whole corporation topic, but I probably missed something in one of your posts.

  50. 57

    The Clabber Girl (check out my dirndl) spews:

    re 53: I really don’t care to engage you in theological debate unless it was a compare and contrast of Reinhold Niebuhr with St. Thomas Aquinas or something of that caliber.

    The stuff you are spouting here you should save for your Sunday school class.

  51. 58

    The Clabber Girl (check out my dirndl) spews:

    re 56: “If you know of a way to curtail the power of the multinational corporation I’m all ears.”

    Forgive me if I remain a skeptic on your willingness to learn.

    Why not read a few good biographies?

    Read one on Jefferson and the two Roosevelts and Justice Cardozo.

    You said you were all ears — let’s see if you are.

    You give multinational corporations more credit than they deserve. You apparently are telling me that the corporations are more powerful than the government that you seek to hobble.

  52. 59

    hnmt is a prick dot com spews:

    I really don’t care to engage you in theological debate unless it was a compare and contrast of Reinhold Niebuhr with St. Thomas Aquinas or something of that clabber.

    OK. How about a compare-&-contrast: my rabbi, Daniel Lapin, vs. your Roger Rabbi, Tevya to the stars?

    HNMT is somewhat ashamed of his donation to Lapin, but only because the money probably trickled down to Jack Abramoff and got wasted on defense lawyers. Still, dueling yarmulkes, Lapin v. Roger, would be scintillatingly Talmudic. Ready to rumble, Clobbered Grrrrl?

  53. 60

    The Clabber Girl (check out my dirndl) spews:

    re 56: I hope that you understand that with the help of God, I am pointing you in the true direction.

    I can assure you that I am as or more capable in that aspect than any person that you have ever seen or met.

    All I ask in return is blind faith in my abilities.

    Pick up your biographies, and follow me. Read Upton Sinclaer and Sinclair Lewis also.

  54. 61

    hnmt is a prick dot com spews:

    Clobbered Grrrrl probably means Brandeis instead of Cardozo.

    Brandeis was the ultra foe of corporate bigness. To his credit, he quickly became a fair-and-balanced foe of Big Government bigness.

    When Clobbered reads his (its) bio of FDR, note that Brandeis led the stealth war against Roosevelt’s leap to imperial fascism in 1937.

  55. 62

    The Clabber Girl (check out my dirndl) spews:

    re 59: Lapin is a real rebbi. Roger Rabbit is a retired lawyer. What are you trying to say?

  56. 63

    The Clabber Girl (check out my dirndl) spews:

    re 61: No. I recently read an article about Cardozo. I’m sure I would have noticed if it was about Brandeis.

  57. 64

    Matty spews:

    Ooooh. I got to use Christianist with an acquaintance an hour ago. He looked puzzled when I uttered it…I explained…he smiled….he got it.

    I have three more people to tell this evening.

    Goldy, you helped a meme flourish!

    P.S. It’s also in my spell checker dictionary now too.

  58. 65

    proud leftist spews:

    lost @ 49: “I admit to seeing the world through an ideological lens as part of the human condition. It’s something I work on, but human reason is always filtered through a selective process, conscious or not. The thing that bugs me is folks on either side who insist that they see the world clearly and the other side is stupid and crazy.”

    I find lost to be making an unusual amount of sense today. I’m even agreeing with him for the most part; certainly, I concur concerning the above quote. Perhaps I’d better take my temperature, or head off to the urgent care center. Hell, what if it’s swine flu?

  59. 66

    YLB spews:

    If you know of a way to curtail the power of the multinational corporation I’m all ears.

    The “way” is called the law. Remember this republic was founded based partly on the abuses of the East India Company.

    As a result this republic had a very suspicious attitude towards state chartered corporations – at first anyway.

  60. 67

    YLB spews:

    The stunning ease with which the left detects racism in almost every whisper or shout of dissent

    Heh. The first President to be heckled as a liar in an address to Congress turns out to be a black man.

    by a southerner no less. Speaks much.

  61. 68

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Re Curtailing Corporate Power in general

    As I said, not sure of the relevance, but oh well.

    Clabber Girl, there’s a key difference between what Roosevelt(s) and Benjamin Cardozo did and now. They didn’t have a global economy, China, and the EU to contend with.

    Clabber Girl and YLB, law only works within its’ jurisdiction. Do you think any other country will cheerfully watch as we limit corporate power, see the light and follow suit because it’s just right? Do you think China will? I have to respectfully doubt the conclusion if you do. Sometimes the devil you know…or is that too Sunday school for you?

    Just for your information, I’m uninterested in a theological debate or an infomal Sunday school. As I recall you brought up the angry Jesus thing. If you want theology I’m sure there are much better qualified people than me for it.

    I appreciate the offer of guidance, but have to decline. I’m guessing that apart from a lively discussion you and I are unlikely to come to agreement on more than the basics. We’re both Americans who love the country and want the best for it. We just disagree on definitions.

  62. 69

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Re 65

    Even the blind squirrel gets a nut sometimes.

    Not sure you’re the squirell for agreeing with a sensible position, or me for finally finding a wavelength on which liberals can be reached and rehabilitaded.

    Cheers.

  63. 70

    Milo spews:

    @ 53

    “…Jewish people can see Christ as an interesting teacher, but not divine. An athiest could do so also, though few are that comfortable with their beliefs. Mostly they are the Christopher Hitchens type. Say as much as you can in a deliberately rude and arrogant way to demean and belittle, but never just accept that others believe differently. You know, that type.”

    Kind of a blanket statement – you’ve studied this?…bit rude and arrogant too.

  64. 71

    sarah68 spews:

    Yeah, the Gates are closing, it’s getting dark, and I’d better apologize for anything untoward I’ve said to Goldy. Which is nothing, probably, because I like his stuff. Any other Jews on here, apologies also. Nice Christians and atheists also.

    @15, the hatred shown by Christians toward Jews has been a little “disconcerting” also.

  65. 73

    Don Joe spews:

    @ 70

    We see and hear the vocal ones. The ones who are comfortable living in a world of mixed beliefs and ideologies don’t make a lot of noise, so we tend to not notice them. That goes for just about everyone from every ideological bent as we view others who ideology bends in a different direction. Hence, the sweeping generalities, which is why I try to avoid them.

  66. 74

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Re 70

    Which part was arrogant or rude, Milo? It’s just an opinion based on conversations I’ve had with people who claim agnosticism or athiesm. The number of folks who claim either to be athiest or agnostic is growing. I don’t have any problem with that. A persons’ faith or lack thereof is their business. I do have a problem with men like Hitchens who aren’t content to believe or to be sceptics. They have to belittle and berate those with whom they disagree. Half of me believes their convictions to be hollow. It sells a lot of books and lecture tours to say outrageous things. Look at Glen Beck. Some Christians have done this too, and I don’t like that either. I don’t see how this is arrogant or rude, but maybe that’s the problem.

    Re 71

    If I’ve said anything that you considered anti-Semitic I’m sorry for that. The various christian churches have had problems in the past from outright lies in medieval times to connivance with the Holocaust to current strains of the mental disorder. I don’t share it. Anything I said that you took as offensive is a result of my admitted ignorance of your faith, not malice.

  67. 75

    Don Joe spews:

    Lost @ 49

    I admit to seeing the world through an ideological lens as part of the human condition. It’s something I work on, but human reason is always filtered through a selective process, conscious or not. The thing that bugs me is folks on either side who insist that they see the world clearly and the other side is stupid and crazy.

    I’ll get to the first two sentences in a minute, but I must admit to some surprise at the last sentence. The vast majority of times when I’ve found your comments to be empty-headed are those when you’ve dismissed the views from the left as being “stupid and crazy.” While I appreciate your efforts to try to see through and around that ideological lens of yours, I hope you don’t mind my pointing out that I think you have a ways to go.

    Which brings me to the lens itself and the efforts to past it. That ideological lens tends, more often than not, to be shaped by what people refer to as “common sense.” These are shared assumptions that people of “like mind” tend to accept without much question.

    As I’ve become acquainted with a growing variety of world views, however, I’ve come to believe that “common sense” is an oxymoron. There might be pockets of people who share a common set of assumptions, but there is no single group of people whose shared assumptions capture those of the majority of human beings on the planet.

    And that’s what gives rise to the central problem we’ve seen here and which Goldy discusses in this post. The one common characteristic of all these varied notions of “common sense” is the extent to which the set of assumptions have rarely, if ever, been questioned by the people who believe these assumptions to be true.

    One of my favorite quotes, and one well worth pondering, is:

    “If long-cherished ideals and time-honoured institutions, if certain social assumptions and religious formulae have ceased to promote the welfare of the generality of mankind, if they no longer minister to the needs of a continually evolving humanity, let them be swept away and relegated to the limbo of obsolescent and forgotten doctrines. Why should these, in a world subject to the immutable law of change and decay, be exempt from the deterioration that must needs overtake every human institution? For legal standards, political and economic theories are solely designed to safeguard the interests of humanity as a whole, and not humanity to be crucified for the preservation of the integrity of any particular law or doctrine.” — Shoghi Effendi Rabbani

    Want to start seeing past that ideological lens? Start questioning the assumptions that you believe to be true though no other reason than that you’ve always believed them to be true.

  68. 76

    proudtobeanass spews:

    lost @ 53: “However a Christian, if he or she is one, doesn’t have an ‘angry Jesus,’ and a Christ of the Beatitudes.”

    Yet in the paragraph above you casually dismiss “most” atheists as Christopher Hitchens “types”.

    The stupid. It burns.

  69. 77

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Don Joe,

    Any healty society is made up of a mix of liberal innovators pushing the boundaries of the society, trying new things, trying to make things better. It also has conservatives retaining the structure so that innovation has a stable base (though not for that reason) and the range of people between. I have written some incindiary things out of frustration, ideology, assumptions I’ve made and so on. But I do recognize the value of proponents of both extremes.

    It seems to me that the disagreements can and must be civil though. A recognition that most folks are honestly doing what they think best for the country means we can more effectively deal with those who aren’t. I’ve tried to be civil, myself, when I’m not flying off the handle. I have strong opinions for which I don’t apologize. But I’m fully aware that some of those opinions are just plain wrong, some questionable and some right. Life is about figuring out which is which.

    As far as questioning assumptions I tend to think about it like a golf swing. When the movement of the arms lifts the head naturally that’s the exact right time to do so. (Or so I was told. Truth is I’m a duffer, sadly.) When the irrationality of the assumption is made plain, re-asessing the assumption is in order. From a progressive standpoint this is too late, but that goes back to the needed range of people in a society.

  70. 79

    Don Joe spews:

    Lost,

    My grandmother often said that if two people think exactly alike, one of them isn’t necessary. I don’t think she ever viewed differences of opinion as adhering to any kind of linear spectrum, and, if you’re familiar with the concepts of linear algebra and multidimensionality, then it should be obvious how it’s impossible to project the vast variety of human thought down to a single linear spectrum without a significant loss of information.

    The willingness to question one’s own assumptions isn’t a progressive vs conservative issue, though it might well seem so in this context. It’s about the extent to which one is dedicated to that never-ending quest for truth. It is the fact that none of us will ever be able to understand the whole truth that leads us to the need for the variety of human opinions, not for any supposed benefit to be derived from the counter-valence of linearly opposite views.

    Liberals don’t need conservatives, and conservatives don’t need liberals. What we all need is for every one of us to be willing to discard, indeed to seek out reasons not to believe in, the truths we all hold near and dear. Only then will we all break out of the miasma that grips us.

  71. 80

    Don Joe spews:

    Lost @ 78

    Re 76

    See 74

    What makes you think he didn’t see the comment @ 74?

    Sometimes you can be really obtuse. Yes, your opinion of atheists and agnostics is formulated based on your personal experience. Upon which do you base your rather obvious conclusion that your experience is, in any way, representative of the population?

    This is exactly what I’ve been talking about in my other comments in this thread. You make sweeping generalizations about those with whom you’ve had limited experience while bemoaning the sweeping generalizations of others whose experience regarding those generalizations seems to be not anywhere as deep as your own.

    Perhaps the lesson is to not make sweeping generalizations at all, and to always question the validity of one’s own experience? That is the stage I’m hoping to see you reach.

  72. 82

    proud leftist spews:

    Don Joe @ 75,
    Your quote is worth remembering. Stagnation can lead to either rot or rejuvenation. How many 3-chord songs have you heard that sound like so many others, then you hear someone do something different with the same 3 chords and wonder how the hell that happened?

  73. 83

    proud leftist spews:

    lost @ 77: “I have strong opinions for which I don’t apologize. But I’m fully aware that some of those opinions are just plain wrong, some questionable and some right. Life is about figuring out which is which.”

    Outstanding post, lost. I couldn’t have said it better myself. I, too, fly off the handle at times when I see rightwing nonsense. I know that doing so does not improve the public dialogue for which we should be shooting. Glenn Beck does not improve that dialogue. Nor, for that matter, does Al Sharpton. We need to talk–not just shout–across ideological lines in this country. You actually seem capable of doing that. I can, too, if the moment is right, because, alas, I have found myself to be wrong from time to time.

  74. 84

    Quincy spews:

    Cynical @29 – I can assure you it ain’t some Rabbit!

    Remember, “eye has not seen, nor ear heard…”

  75. 85

    Quincy spews:

    Dang! I could have made a double-pun had I misquoted “ears” instead of “ear.” Get it? Rabbit. Ears. Ha!

  76. 86

    The Clabber Girl (check out my dirndl) spews:

    re 68: We’ve had a global economy since well before Marco Polo.

    Now is not exactly like the past, but it’s not totally disimilar.

    “The past is not dead. In fact, it’s not even past.” William Faulkner

    I’m surprised that a person like yourself, who basas his whole view of life on a Bronze Age book of agricultural aphorisms would argue that we live in times that are totally unique.

    But you are the guy who wants to defeat ‘government’,which is the only power strong enough to present a challenge to globalism — that and the price of gas.

  77. 87

    The Clabber Girl (check out my dirndl) spews:

    re 68: We’ve had a global economy since well before Marco Polo.

    Now is not exactly like the past, but it’s not totally disimilar.

    “The past is not dead. In fact, it’s not even past.” William Faulkner

    I’m surprised that a person like yourself, who bases his whole view of life on a Bronze Age book of agricultural aphorisms would argue that we live in times that are totally unique.

    But you are the guy who wants to defeat ‘government’,which is the only power strong enough to present a challenge to globalism — that and the price of gas.

  78. 88

    The Clabber Girl (check out my dirndl) spews:

    Now is not like it was five minutes ago. Therefore, I’m right about everything.

    Bruce said he was a little tired today and that I can be the Boss for a while.

  79. 89

    sarah68 spews:

    21. The Clabber Girl (check out my dirndl) spews:

    “I’m sure many Jews would be perfectly happy for Christians to post the ten commandments wherever the hell they please.

    I know that Kinky Friedman is in favor of having the ten commandments posted in schools all over Texas — and discussed on a daily basis.”

    KINKY FRIEDMAN? He’s now a spokesman for Jews? Give me a break.

    And no, many Jews are in favor of NO religious symbols at all on any public buildings. If we had the 10 Cs posted, we’d have crosses and everything else. No thank you.

    16. lostinaseaofblue spews:

    “Just so you know, so far as I understand it from my long ago confirmation classes, the New Testament doesn’t cancel out the Old in Christianity. Christ was considered the fulfillment of the law. My limited understanding of Judaism suggests that if a Messiah came along whom you believed to be ‘legitimate,’ the same would be true for you. Until then it seems that the folks proclaiming the Old Testament the only basis for a religion would in fact be Jews, not Christians.”

    The trouble is that to Jews, it’s not the “Old Testament.” That’s the name Christians gave it to indicate that it was a historical piece with commandments (and I don’t mean the 10, but all the hundreds of others) which need not be followed, because the “New” religion is now in place. “Old” is not a term of respect, not when compared to “New”, and Jews don’t consider that Jesus was a fulfillment of the law. The proper name for the book is Tanakh — for Torah, Neviim (prophets), and Ketubim (writings).

    My understanding of Christianity is so limited I wouldn’t try to talk about it. The above is basically all I know. Christians really shouldn’t talk about Judaism either.

  80. 90

    DavidD spews:

    Mark @36 spews:
    Goldy, if you accidentally fell off a cruise ship and nobody saw or heard you screaming I would bet my life that within about thirty seconds you would become religious as a mother fucker. Ever heard the saying “No athiests in a foxhole”.

    Mark, there is a huge problem with this and other examples like it:

    If he accidentally fell off a cruise ship and no one on the ship saw him screaming, whether he suddenly became religious or not wouldn’t do him a bit of good. He’d still be dead.

    He would not miraculously be wafted aloft by the breaths of angels, and placed on the ship where his rescue would serve as a witness to his deity’s infinite power, mercy and grandeur. He would drown, whether or not he was ‘suddenly converted.’

    Although, maybe if he converted to Poseidon worship he could take comfort that he would be fueling the ocean’s cycles.

  81. 91

    Heath spews:

    Goldy –

    You misunderstand the message of Jesus (as opposed to the Nicean council). The 10 commandments are not relevant. See Luke 9:60 +/- 10 or so. There are three men who want to follow Jesus. At first each is accepted, but then wants to fulfill a Kosher obligation. Each is then dismissed. (NB there being 3 of them and how Jesus was after all, a criminal Rabbi.) At the conclusion of the 3, Jesus says, “any man, having placed his hand onto the plow, and then looking back into the previous-going (i.e., the past), is not well-positioned to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”

    So, what is the plow turning over? The old laws of Moses and the old covenant. Including the same commandments you referenced.

  82. 92

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    81. Rujax! spews:

    lostinhisownasshole is truly…

    …lostinhisownasshole.

    09/28/2009 at 9:29 pm

    Pathetically, this is the very best RuJax can do.

  83. 93

    The Clabber Girl (check out my dirndl) spews:

    re 89: “KINKY FRIEDMAN? He’s now a spokesman for Jews? Give me a break.”

    Better him than Lapin — who is a con-artist. Anyone who Googles him can see that for themselves.

    In addition to religion, you should refrain from politics as well.

  84. 96

    SJ spews:

    What a weird set of responses to Goldy’s post.

    As a Jew, I get to ask the Deity or change His laws.* I will ask God to post a new commandment

    XI “I am infallible, you are not. As you follow these ten laws, always be consistent. “

    NEWS: God has responded .. see the News at SJ!

    * a practice used by Bill Maher in his New Rules,

  85. 97

    Rujax! spews:

    92. Mr. Cynical spews:

    81. Rujax! spews:

    lostinhisownasshole is truly…

    …lostinhisownasshole.

    09/28/2009 at 9:29 pm

    Pathetically, this is the very best RuJax can do.

    09/29/2009 at 6:29 am

    Better than anything YOU’VE got, shithead.

  86. 98

    Madrona Jim spews:

    Ever wonder why THEY always want to tell you about their religion, but don’t want to hear about yours? Organized religion closes peoples minds to new ideas, it is a great way to control the populations. The reason we have the religions we do in America is because we are able to because of separation of church and state

  87. 99

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Madrona–
    A personal relationship with Jesus Christ is all I need. Organized religion has certainly had it’s drawbacks…but not as bad as individuals who believe their is no Creator…everything is a result of random occurences. If you cannot see something, it doesn’t exist. Pretty arrogant Jim. Do you really think there is no Creator??
    Do you really think you are capable of understanding everything??

    That’s dangerous Jim.

  88. 100

    SKrose spews:

    This website really is the “horses ass”. You will all obviously be frying in hell. You all need to remember “what goes around comes around”, you know, basic karma.