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Member since: Mon Jan 26, 2015, 06:15 PM
Number of posts: 42,057

About Me

bilingual, bipedal homo sapien

Journal Archives

Good news: 'This movement is evil: Religious leaders denounce White Lives Matter rallies

From the article:

Religious leaders across Tennessee are denouncing white supremacy ahead of White Lives Matter protests in Murfreesboro and Shelbyville.....

Scores of clergy have signed their names to statements opposing the white nationalist groups’ values.

To read more good news:


News I want to see: Trump has taken refuge in the Nambian Embassy and is asking for asylum.

I have this on great authority, the very best authority, from a source that I respect bigly:

The word is that Donald Trump, Hope Hicks, and his entire family, (except for Melania), have taken refuge in the Nambian Embassy and are all asking for asylum.

Witnesses further reported that the Trump family and Hicks previously visited the US Mint and were seen walking out carrying suitcases just before their limousines drove at a high rate of speed to the Nambian Embassy.

When questioned by the Press, Sarah Huckabee Sanders immediately stated that Trump was scheduled to visit the site of the Bowling Green Massacre and lay a wreath at the memorial.

Rules of illogic in the Religion group

A recent post of mine has been the occasion for me being twice accused of defending Nazis. Before continuing with the discussion, here is the original question, and my response:

From Trotsky:
Should we tolerate, or not tolerate, groups like the KKK and Nazis?


My response:

Your question needs further elaboration. Is it legal to be a KKK or Nazi member in the US. Yes, so it is legally tolerated

After this exchange, I was accused by another poster of supporting Nazis.

The accusation:

Lordquinton (5,935 posts)
111. Arguing about whether we should tolerate Nazis

Unbelievable. I'd say there's a shark you can jump, but you long since sailed past it.

When you have to twist so far to defend your indefensible statements that you accidently defend the Nazi party.


The same poster referenced immediately above has repeated the same ridiculous accusation in a response in another thread.

My question is, given that my response to the first rather silly question was that being a Nazi or KKK member is legal in the US, and that it is legally tolerated, how can anyone make the illogical jump to the proposition that I defended the Nazi Party, accidentally or not?

Is this an example of deliberately mischaracterizing a response to put another poster on the defensive, or is it simply an instance of the poster making the accusation completely missing the actual point?

And when the question is asked should we tolerate hate groups, being a Nazi or a KKK member is not illegal. We should fight their ideology, we should expose them as what they are, we should do what we can as progressives to oppose them.

Why the GOP is winning the debate.

During the 1960s, there was much political and cultural change in this country.

In addition to the ferocious debate about the Vietnam war, and US militarism in general, historically subjugated groups were rising up and fighting to reframe the debate, and reframe history as well.

In addition to the Civil Rights movement, there was the women's rights movement, the LGBTQ movement, and many other groups fighting to be treated as equal.

As a consequence of these movements that threatened white male Christian supremacy, the right wing crafted a strategy.

First, they started buying media outlets and establishing lobbying and propaganda groups that they called foundations or research institutes. Any media consumer cannot avoid all of the right wing research foundations that put out a steady stream of articles and reports designed to advance the conservative agenda. In 41 states there is a Policy Institute of some sort that is part of this. In Illinois, it is the Illinois Policy Institute that serves as the front group. And as The Nation first reported, 90% of the US media is owned by 6 large corporations. In addition, conservatives bought up many radio and television stations to further reach the population.

Along with buying up the media, and establishing these front groups, it was important to frame the debate. The estate tax, which affects the top 1% of the top 1%, was called the death tax, to suggest that it applies to everyone.

Equal rights for the historically second class citizens named above were called special rights. The implication of this is to establish that these groups were asking for more, rather than actual equality.

Right to work was another meme, as if to say that the conservatives were fighting for a literal right to work rather than the actuality of conservatives attacking unions.

Move to the center and appeal to the center are 2 other memes that enjoy widespread acceptance. What is not mentioned is that, as the GOP moves farther to the right, this center
also moves to the right.

Voter fraud is another popular lie, but it justifies voter suppression and voter discrimination against non-white and non-conservative segments of the population.

And after the SCOTUS Citizens United decision, money was redefined as speech. So politicians only hear the sound of money.

Now, in 2017, we have had 50 years of conservatives buying the media, framing the debate, and remaking politics in the US. Voters hear conservative talking points every day from a wide variety of sources. Radio, television, the internet, all put out the conservative talking points that many accept as settled wisdom.

So when Trump speaks his various lies, a certain segment of the population has heard variations of these lies for 50 years and they are pre-disposed to believe them.

But in spite of this, there is still reason for guarded optimism because Hillary Clinton received more votes than Trump.

Strong link found between worship attendance and religious giving

From the article:

“Giving to religion,” as defined by the Chicago-based Giving USA Foundation, includes contributions to congregations, religious media, denominations and mission organizations. It does not include faith-related institutions such as the Salvation Army, the University of Notre Dame, global relief organization World Vision, Catholic hospitals or Jewish foundations.
Overall, giving to religious causes amounted to close to a third of all charitable giving in 2016.

To read more:


What is Christianity?

Is it the faith that inspired Schubert to write Ave Maria? (My preferred version)

Or is it the Crusades?

Is it the message of Jesus to "do to others as you would have them do to you"?

Or is it the forced conversion of the Jews in Spain and the First Peoples in the New World?

Or is it all of the above?

When we speak of Christianity, or any religion, we speak of humans believing. And humans are not perfect. None of us is perfect. We all have our faults, we all have our inconsistencies.

In this forum, I have posted many things. Some I have titled "good news", and some "bad news". Never have I titled any post "perfect news" because there is no perfection in humanity. But there is good and bad so the news and the titles reflect that mixture.

So when I read claims like "religion is responsible for most of the violence in the world", I often respond that every culture commits violence. Violence is a human failing and is committed for many reasons. To single out any one reason as THE reason tells me more about the person making the claim than it does about the concept of religion.

And given that history suggests that religion has been present for as long as man has walked upright, violence has also been present. (See the Bible story of Cain and Abel for one explanation)

Legalized Islamophobia in Quebec

From the article:

We have said repeatedly that no amount of discrimination should be acceptable for us--but also that no legislative measures will ever be enough for the racists, who will continue to push until those they consider a threat are deported or decide to move to other parts of Canada. There is no balanced approach when it comes to human rights.
It should be noted as well that Quebec's National Assembly passed a motion in 2015 unanimously opposing Islamophobia, at the instigation of former QS MNA Françoise David.
But the passage of this new bill and the debates around it seem to indicate that none of the 125 members of the assembly fully understand what Islamophobia means--nor how their proposals and statements often fuel it.

To read more:


As Tensions Simmer, Poll Shows Majority of Democrats Want Bold Leftward Shift

From the article:

Amid an ongoing battle within the Democratic National Committee between its progressive wing and the more "centrist" establishment, a Harvard-Harris poll (pdf) published Tuesday found that a majority of Democrats think their party should be embracing grassroots movements, ditching its current leadership, and moving to the left.
The survey found that 52 percent of registered Democratic voters want "movements within the Democratic Party to take it even further to the left and oppose the current Democratic leaders."

To read more of this opinion piece:


Can empathy be learned? Science offers some clues

From the article:

Just how religion plays into our biological impulse for empathy is not yet clear. One study from the University of Chicago shows that religious upbringing is associated with less altruism. Other studies have shown the contrary; a University of Warsaw study found that religious beliefs are positively associated with empathy, as empathic skills are crucial factors for religion......

To develop empathy, Marsh suggested compassion meditation, which involves training oneself to foster and extend feelings of care and compassion to ever-wider circles of people.

To read more:


Is atheism the reason for Ta-Nehisi Coates' pessimism on race relations?

From the article:

In fact, Coates’s entire worldview rests on a theology of global chaos. We were Eight Years in Power describes this theory of chaos as black atheism. Remarkably little attention has been given to the pivotal role this idea plays in his work.
Since God does not exist, Coates argues, there can be no collective hope or national redemption. We live, Coates tells us, in an amoral universe in which the powerful have little desire to help the powerless. This Coates describes as his general theory of life, one in which “no one was coming to save me”.

To read more of this interesting article:

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