Thursday, June 15, 2006

"Religious People"

Twice now in the past week I have encountered disparaging generalizations of "religious people" in the leftist blogosphere, highlighting one of the great hypocrisies of the liberal secular movement: for all their advocacy of diversity, people of faith are one demographic they prefer to do without, and they further fail to recognize the limitless diversity within various faith traditions.

In a discussion on the "Marriage Protection" Amendment that failed in the Senate, Homer had this to say: "Religious folks always want to feel superior to other people. They used to demonize godless communists, but that kinda ended in 1989. So then it switched to gays/lesbians. I personally could really care less about rules laid out in some 2000 year old book."

My response: "My, don't we feel superior." The subtext is that people of faith are maintaining hopeless fidelity to ancient, irrelevant fairy tales.

More recently, Beep! Beep! It's Me noted on Weltanschauung, "Religious people argue against what they call "moral relativism" even though it is obvious that morality changes according to culture, geography, religion and chronology. Religious people assume an "absolute morality" which they claim their god belief/god represents. I find this a difficult notion to agree with as the majority of people out there in the world can't agree on what colour to paint the kitchen, let alone which religious dogma represents absolute morality."

If she would only stop to consider that the vast majority of the planet's inhabitants are religious, then she would discover her own conclusion is that people of faith do not always agree. Hence, no argument that begins with "religious people are..." could be considered objective.

It's true that religious people with strong moral visions can be a total pain in the ass. Just look at the way Martin Luther King, Jr., pushed his faith-based ideas about racial equality on our society. What an asshole, right? Gandhi, too.

More recently, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, President Bush suspended laws requiring construction companies to pay employees prevailing wages. A coalition of religious people convinced the White House that helping wealthy corporations save millions of dollars was less of a priority than helping regional workers who'd lost everything rebuild their lives by earning fair pay. The nerve!

This is, truly, one of the great weaknesses of American society, in that we don't acknowledge firstly the diversity of religious thought and secondly that religion isn't always bad. "What about the crusades?" some ask. Well, the enforced secularism of the USSR and China didn't exactly lead to utopias, did they?

Another tragic misperception is that to be "religious" in America means to be "conservative." I work for a prominent LGBT civil rights organization, absolutely at the top of the list of enemies of groups like the American Family Association, Concerned Women for America, Focus on the Family and others. Because we are pro-gay, we are often accused of pushing an anti-religious leftist agenda. However, our staff includes not only me and several other people of faith, but also an ordained minister and a member of a church's parish council. At least two other well known LGBT organizations have very active faith outreach programs. Just a couple of weeks ago, I attended a rally at an Upper West Side synagogue for people of faith in support of legalizing same-sex marriage in New York state. The place was packed.

Last week I went to a cocktail reception at a church for its LGBT fellowship. Yes, you read that correctly. This is not a "gay" church, it's a large, mainstream Protestant church where gay people are fully integrated and welcomed into the congregation. I went back this past Sunday, and after services I and some people I met there went to brunch.

Among the many issues we discussed was the recognition that we can't necessarily fault secular types for believing that religious = narrow minded. In America, the extreme right wing of the faith community has totally dominated the conversation.

I believe this has occurred because of the corporatization of the news media (ahem, NOT the "liberalization"), whereby what should be informative programming is now being competitively marketed. There is also the unfortunate invention of the "soundbyte," where an idea has to be encapsulated completely within a 10-second phrase. Hardly room in there for a thoughtful, nuanced position. Let's face it, watching Ann Coulter badmouth 9/11 widows is more entertaining than watching a non-hysterical theologian calmly explain alternative interpretations of Leviticus 18:22.

If you need an example of what I'm talking about, I cannot recommend highly enough this exchange from Fox News between anchor Julie Banderas and Shirley Phelps-Roper of the Westboro Baptist Church.

The Book of James tells us, "Be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God." (There's a phrase I wish everyone who thinks the Bible consists only of Mosaic injunctions against sexual immorality would discover.) That lesson got lost in the above shoutfest. And so, I'm afraid, did God.

Ultimately what we are dealing with here are two paranoid extremes of society, neither of whom are open to the possibilities of doubt or humble enough to consider the ideas of others as potentially valid. I'm not sure what to say to conservatives, who pride themselves on being right and infallible. But liberals, however, traditionally value and respect diversity. All I can do is encourage them further in that direction.

87 comments:

Future Geek said...

I think the blogosphere intensifies the polarization of this conflict. I also think that so many people are just disgusted by the way the fundies are throwing their weight around with this administration. What you are seeing is backlash.

I have noticed that many atheists coudl be better labelled Achristians. It's almost like they are convincing themselves that there is no spiritual power in the universe - or they are dealing with some past grievance with Christians.

I've called myself an atheist before, but really my atheism is more of a life decision, that is, I put my faith and my hope in material things more than in spiritual things. In other words, I'm an agnostic who acts like an atheist.

Anyway, I tend to disparage Christians more than other religious groups just because I'm in a Christian country, and the flaws of the vocal Christians are so... obvious? Trolling them is like shooting Iraqis from an A-10, you know?

You progressive Christians need to get to work to redeem your public image.

Silus Grok said...

Bravo. Another spot-on post.

:)

Nathan said...

I'm an agnostic. Of course, my dad told me once an "...agnostic is just an athiest without balls." I prefer to think of an agnostic as a non-fundamentalist atheist.

Another good post Andy, but don't we all know generalizations are just that, generalizations.

How correct does a generalization have to be before it is an acceptable generalization? Could you add "most" to the beginning of the sentence if over 50% of the group was being described? As in, "Most fundamentalist Christians vote for republican candidates." Is that more correct than "Some fundamentalist Christians vote for republican candidates." Just a thought.

In science, there are numerical cutoffs for uncertainties. A result can have strong evidence or be suggestive at a certain alpha-value (usually 0.05). I propose 95% of a group should be described in order to use the group generalization.

In the end, I agree that generalizations about any large group are improper, if not innaccurate. However, generalizations backed-up by solid demographic data can be useful.

Time said...

Extremeists took over the political debate a long time ago. So people started choosing sides.

Unfortunately some religious leaders formed a coalition and decided to put their support behind the Republicans.

These were mainly evengelical, bapist, souther religious leaders.

They were the ones who promised the Republicans millions of votes if they made moral issues (abortion, prayer in school, anti-gay, pro-family, and more)forefront in their platform and publicly pushed these issues. And it worked. So since then it has become what Republicans stand for.

This is not what Thomas Jefferson was talking about when he talked about the separation of church and state.

Yet we see how religion entering politics, on one side more than another, degrades the political debate by charging one side is more moral than the other side.

Of course this is not true and it inflames peoples passions and raises the level of hate speech between us.

I cannot tell a religious person that they should not consider their faith when making political decisions. I can say that they must consider others beliefs, and compromise with others who don't believe as they do in order to govern and live together.

To ban behavior, to force some else to live their beliefs, is intolerance. And that is un-American.

When debate gets confused because of the injection of religion, then we must fall back on the secular rights given to all of us in the Constitution.

But then one side wants to change the Constitution. That's changing America. No compromise, just new rules we all must live by.

Time said...

President Bill Clinton,

June 15, 2006

"For people in America who are a part of my political tradition, our great sin has often been ignoring religion or denying its power or refusing to engage it because it seemed hostile to us," he said. "For ... the so-called Christian right and its allies, their great sin has been believing they were in full possession of the truth."

kr pdx said...

TIme:
"To ban behavior, to force some else to live their beliefs, is intolerance. And that is un-American"

Statutory rape. Pedophilia. Physical abuse (of, in I believe order of legislation, domestic animals, children, women, spouses). Hate speech. Driving too fast/dangerously. Pouring poison in a river.

Intolerance of behaviors, and the resultant shoving of our beliefs on other people, is not necessarily a "bad" thing, and is certainly not un-American: protections, justice, etc. ...

Matthew said...

Actually, what bothers me about what Homer has to say is the following:

"I personally could really care less about rules laid out in some 2000 year old book."

It's 'I couldn't care less,' people! Ugh.

Seriously, though, I've often written religious skepticism posts on my blog before. Are we not allowed to do so anymore?

There's nothing inherently wrong with someone expressing their opinion that they think religion is wrong, or that the people following it are wasting their time. It's an opinion that we're entitled to hold and, if we choose, to express.

What I find different between myself and other atheists talking about religious issues and certain religious people condemning, say, homosexuality, is that many of those religious people actively work to keep me from having certain rights.

I couldn't care less if someone wants to be religious, as long as that religion doesn't lead to violence or oppression. Unfortunately, it often does. That's what lots of folks are probably dissing when they talk about religion. That, and the often assumed opinion that most people are, like them, religious. For an atheist, it gets very tiresome.

Time said...

kr pdx,

A perfect example of taking the debate to an extreme. What have the current debates in Congress been? What have we been talking about on the bloggs lately?

To ban same sex marriage, to ban flag burning, to ask what right Republicans have to say they are superior or more moral than Democrats.

So please don't say that I include the criminal behavior that you list, that all people find more than anti-social, and agree cannot be allowed for a civil society.

Talk about twisting words and mean spirited debate. I won't assume that you are to stupid to know what I ment.

Robert Bayn said...

The primary problem with religion, is when it mixes with Government it creates corruption and often a Theocracy government, where the religion, not what's best for a country rules what people do.

The problem with Christianity, is the same problem many situations face, the Crazy folks are the loudest, while the average person, is for the most part quiet, Until the Moderate voice of America gets loud and dare i say Proud, extremist will continue to rule the conversation.

kr pdx said...

Time, obviously most of the crap going on now is crap. I am not trying to be stupid or extremist.

But of the things I listed, there are several that are not even now held universally condemnable, either by groups of people here in the States or by other cultural groups around the world. Just because "we" (not universal among Americans but yes I assume of Andy's readers) consider those things clearly, as you call them, "criminal," does not mean they weren't, and AREN'T, imposing someone's morals on some other folks, via the force of the government.

Is "driving too fast" really so much more serious a topic for legislative debate than gay marriage/one-man-one-woman? I specifically chose not the most ridiculous examples--extreme would have been "murder," which in various forms is acceptable to various peoples.

There are people (not I, previously established) who really do truly believe flat out that a homosexual act is akin to at least, say, spouse-beating, in the (spiritual/emotional/psychological) injury done and in some measure of cost to society. Opposite, there are really people who think that if a person thinks homosexuals are sick and wrong, there should be legal punishments imposed (you know, before the nutter actually hurts someone). (Although I admit I haven't heard much on this one for maybe 10 years; kudos to the left for calming it's extremists?)

I am not trying to make you ridiculous, and I am not trying to be vicious. The entire act of legislating is, BY DEFINITION, an act of imposing rules upon people who don't agree with them. Otherwise there would be absolutely no point to even mentioning an issue, much less making it a law.

Which is why John Kerry's comment in 2004 that he didn't feel it was his place to impose his morals on other people was so bizarre: what the crap have you been doing as a legislator for so many years???? Just as an obvious example, he votes to protect abortion, which I as a taxpayer end up financially contributing to. I believe abortion is torture-killing of children. How exactly does that seemingly innocent "protection" of a "right" NOT impose others' morality on me? It does. That is why laws exist. It is a pitfall of democracy/federalism/whatever the heck it is we have for a government nowadays.

My comment was meant to draw out what I saw as an actual logical fallacy in your argument, not to drag you into an idiotic extreme argument.

Whether you care to consider me stupid is your own business, of course. I am sorry that we had such an incredible misunderstanding. When I say something that can be reasonably argued to be wrong, I appreciate people telling me so; apparently this would be one of those "the golden rule doesn't always work" moments.

I think my point was valid; I am sorry it offended you.

kr pdx said...

r.bayn: ah, and decidedly secular governments are notably corruption-free. And of course what's best for "a country" is always best for the people of the country?

I think these corollaries to your first assertion are observably false ... ?

It would be more logical to assert that people being involved in government causes corruption ;). And The People being maximally involved in Their government (whatever nation) would maximize their social etc. returns.

I don't think religion or non-religion is really the defining factor there.

little-cicero said...

Great observations as far as polarization and the media.

Just as you explained neutrally the secular extreme, I feel obliged for reasons that are clear to you to explain the other extreme.

Objective morality has been misinterpreted, in my opinion, by this extreme. In reality objective morality is the idea that there exists in the universe a universal standard of right and wrong that is the same for all people no matter who or where they are (obviously realistically something unattainable).

Of course their opinions may very well not take this to an extreme but simply add to that an acknowledgement of good and evil in the universe. However, they might also take it so far as to expect anyone who doesn't live up to their interpretations' objective moral values to be wicked.

Finally, I'll explain the relavence of all of this. If a minister believes that homosexuality is an immoral/unholy/perverse behavior, and he denies a sacrament such as marriage to a homosexual on those grounds, he is not doing it maliciously. On the grounds of objective morality- the idea that one's very damnation depends on a single set of rights and wrongs, that religious leader, who is in the highest position in the faith community to interpret the word of God's moral instructions, has not a right but a DUTY to ensure that he does not further any behavior that is immoral/unholy/perverse by approving such behavior.

So one man's bigotry is another man's salvation.

Robert Bayn said...

Obviously Secular Governments have flaws too. But in order to keep a Democracy where all the voices are heard, we must not allow Religion to take over government, Society will fall, History tells us that. We have to have a mix of religion and secularism, to much of anything is never a good thing.


LC Said,

So one man's bigotry is another man's salvation.

Uhh yeah, i can spray Lysol on a turd, but it's still a turd. Bigotry is bigotry no matter how someone paints the picture, if someones salvation is being a bigot, they need to rethink their faith.

chiron said...

Thanks for posting that quote from James. My favorite virture is temperance.

As for the media, I think there's a shadow play there that apes an infernal coupling ala Dante. One odious gorgon on the right defines its monstrous opposition on the left, who surprisingly often takes up the script it's been given. [Think Pelosi, Dean, and Lakoff on the "left".] And think of Ann Coulter who said, "Liberals don't even object to being called godless." The only way to engage one's brain is to ignore the script and address what's going on outside of the shadow play. We have an opportunity to do that on our blogs.

little-cicero said...

I mean salvation in the objective, not the subjective. I am saving you with my "bigotry". I know that was probably sarcasm, but just to clarify. :)

chiron said...

"To ban behavior, to force some else to live their beliefs, is intolerance. And that is un-American."

Time: I understood what you're trying to say, but you left the door open for kr pdx's criticism. I'm a Classical Liberal and a Christian, and today I consider myself progressive, and while I value tolerance and respect, they are not bricks that I lay at the foundation of a social contract, legal code, nor a liberal creed. (Assuming that crime was properly legislated) what people really need from each other on a daily basis is complete disinterested disregard. When extremists invest religious and metaphysical significance in public mannerisms (gender norms) and private consensual relationships between adults (same sex domestic partnerships) that's when the battle hits the fan in my book.

kr pdx: You may not have meant to offend, but you did it so well. There are problems in your own dialog that reflect the extremism that Time remarks upon. For instance, when you frame a prochoice position as one that "protect(s) abortion" and when you frame abortion as "the torture-killing of children," you express beliefs to which you are entitled, but you also parrot inflammatory extremist rhetoric, narrowly and simplisticly frame a complex issue, and foreclose the possibility of debate with a legitimate opposition. You honestly cannot know, though you may believe you do, at what moment a developing fetus becomes a human child. Whatever Biblical quotes you may provide to support a position that life begins at conception, you can only contradict another very plain Biblical statement that the "life of the flesh is in the blood" [Leviticus 17:11] and the scientific fact that blood enters the fetus many weeks after a conception. EVEN IF your position in the debate were informed only by Biblical precepts, you could modify your extremist stance and engage the opposition. But I wonder if you will do so. There are many in the abortion debate that want compromise, who recognize both a woman's right to privacy (her reproductive right) and the unborn child's right to life, and who want to negotiate moral guidance to help us decide when one right supercedes the other. The debate's largest obstacles are entrenched moneyed and ideological interests supported by emotionalism like yours.

Time said...

I wasn't offended or insulted, nor am I surprised that you went directly to the extreme.

My point was that in order to govern and get along with each other, religion cannot be allowed to control the laws of the land.

One does not have to be religious to know that to rape a child is wrong, or to murder is wrong.

You seem to think that ONLY religious people know right from wrong.

I don't want religious morals that allow priests to rape boys and then hide that fact and do nothing about it for decades.

I don't want rules made by religious people so intollerant of others that they have caused most of the death and discrimination for 2,000 years.

The idea that non-religious people don't know right from wrong is elitist and stupid. The idea that people will live with evil in their hearts if they don't follow your God, shows just how much your religion has brainwashed you. The idea that yours is the one and only God everyone must follow is dilusional.

Used to be that people who claimed to speak for God, or to God, were taken away by the guys in white coats.

No, I don't want, nor do I need your religion making laws for my country. Please keep your God out of the politics of my country.

Future Geek said...

What I don't get about the whole abortion debate is the fact that the anti abortion crowd doesn't seem to recognize a simple fact: If you make it illegal for a woman to have an abortion, you are condemning a sizable number of women and children to unhappy, deprived lives. You will force many women and children into abusive and unhappy relationships, just so they can have their material needs met. How is that godly?

I think that it's possible to establish a society where we won't need abortion any more. We can create a situation where women won't want abortions any more, where every child will be welcomed into the world with love and all their needs met. This seems the more humane path.

Until we do, let's leave the options open, eh?

The thing is, the people who are pushing for moral restrictions are also trying to dismantle the social systems that would support a single mother with an unexpected child. It's nothing more than manipulation of a religious belief for cynical political ends. There's nothing godly about the people who are trying to restrict abortion. Although the people who support such a restriction are truly acting out of a sense of moral duty, that is, stopping the torture killing of children, the people who are manipulating the political discourse about abortion are not. They are simply speaking empty words from the bible.

That's at the root of our current cultural struggle - the vocal religious wingnuts (aided by the media, who need excitement and controversy) are alienating everyone else for their own ends, while the good Christians out there are saying, "Wait, it's not like that, I---"

Meanwhile, you have crap like this.

Is it any wonder that moderates/leftists/nonChristians are getting pissed off?

You progressive Christians need to get your voices heard.

Andy said...

Chiron: I am in awe of your response. Beautifully said, thank you.

kr pdx said...

OK, this is from before Time posted. I'll put it up and then read on.

rbayn:
yes I think we agree on the government thing, I just wanted it stated less lopsidedly.

per previous discussions here, I more or less agree with LC on the "bigotry" issue. (About a month ago I argued this re: Catholic Charities/adoption.) Since I'm already pissing people off, I won't return there.


Chiron: Thank you for your thoughtful repsonse. A few points, though:

As you are correct that I cannot "know" when human life starts, neither can the abortion advocates. Wouldn't it be safer to err on the side of caution? (I recognize this arguement makes more sense to those who believe in the mystery of a soul.)

As it happens, yes, my essential belief is based on the Jeremiah and Job passages, "I knew you before you were born" and all that. I am sure everyone here is aware of some of the shortcomings of Leviticus in its overlegislative attitudes ;).

The definitions of life I learned in high school biology didn't seem to countermand that, which made me raise an eyebrow when I ran into a friend a few years later and she declared, "Oh, I was a biology major, so of course I'm pro-choice."

Pff.

Our development from conception to death is continuous--cellular life and maintenance and death are continuous. The only clear biological break in the entire process (since death was a bit wishy washy even before modern medicine) is conception. Medical science is steadily moving the viability of live-birth backwards and the development of the embryo forwards ... I can't imagine that they won't meet and eventually enable true test-tube babies in artifical wombs.

Clearly, any line drawn (OK, she is human this day, but yesterday it was just a mass of cells) is arbitrary, and can only be based on our imperfect understanding of life/medical science/morality. Wouldn't it be better to err on the side of honoring life/protecting a possible child?

I have an additional leg to stand on that most don't, though. As a spiritually active person, when I got pregnant I felt/knew the sex of my first two children in the first week, and as soon as I noticed I was pregnant with the third (with two kids, I was pretty distracted). Yes, this might have been an intuitve leap from chemical signals ingrained in humans, part of the chemical byplay between mom and baby. But lots of other spiritually active moms (from LOTS of faith and non-faith traditions; looking for anti-medical birth stories I read widely) speak of communing (various meanings) with the spirits of their children from vaious early stages of pregnancy. (My kids, after intially saying "hi I'm here," were fairly quiescent ... working hard on the growing thing, no doubt ;). )

So I have some standing beyond "the Bible said so."

I read an interview with a famous conductor who in middle age worked for the first time on a particular symphony and found it surprisingly familiar. Particularly one part ... it was a supporting part, I think the bassoon. After some thought, he contacted his mother, who played the bassoon. When she was middling-pregnant, she had worked long hours on that piece, and performed it before he was born.

What defines a human?

As far as my inflammatory rhetoric, I actually wasn't speaking emotionally right there, just presenting an unavoiable conclusion. If the baby is a baby,
burning it to death with salt
tearing it apart (without even anesthetic--which some European doctors have recently suggested should be provided to "the fetus")
starving it by either not letting it implant or forcing it to disconnect
how exactly are any of those not torturous deaths, and because they are deliberate, murder?

If we just "put them to sleep" like a pet, it would at least only be "murder." Presuming that putting an animal to sleep is as painless as we believe it to be.

I won't even get into partial-birth abortion. The prolife movement has LOTS of converts who are nurses who had to assist at with a pba.

If the baby is a baby, abortion is logically torture murder, however uncomfortable to consider/hear. I recognize that initial assumption is not universally accepted.

But yes, I feel very strongly about the issue, and clearly the law of our land forces a moral choice on me that I ... well, I don't have words for how strongly I disagree with it. Forcing moral choices on others is the only reason to have laws.

That said, of course I am open to discussion on how to find a middle. Anything is better than the extreme we are at now.

As my brother pointed out once, rather than making abortion illegal again, it would be most effective to work to eliminate the causes. Some of those I see are abuse, irresponsibility, scarring of the fallopian tubes by infection with chlamydia, bigotry against the disabled ... in other nations, bigotry against females ... but the most important thing to do would be to infuse society with an understanding that every baby is a gift, no matter what the parental situation, and every innocent child is a call to all of us to heal, so that we minimize the injury we do to their beautiful example of innocence.

Children need to be seen as healing ... instead of as inconvenient. Abortion (or some other destructive symptom of society's illnesses) won't go away until then, whether or not it is legal, and really that is the larger fight.

But saving a few million little lives in the meantime by making abortions officially less accepted, I would not object to.

little-cicero said...

Time, the problem I have with assuming that you have a set of objective moral values if you do not have a God (I don't know if you're an atheist, but it seems that this is what we're discussing) is that in the naturalistic world in which we live, we do not accept the concept that something can come from nothing. If that is the case, you must apply it morality. If there is no God, from where does one's moral values come?

Science has explained much in the way of origins, but it has explained nothing of the origin of morality.

If you say that moral values come from your conscience, then you might as well say that they come from your mind. If you say that they come from society, you're opening your conscience up to all sorts of perversions of Nazi-like proportions. Of course there are perversions and inaccuracies in religious moral instruction, but at least it is comprehensible for dieties to be the source of morality.

Now, of course law is a completely different topic. It has for all of its existance been based in morality/ethics. So if morality/ethics had forever been based in religion, one could surely make the argument that it is only by God that we make our laws, but that is not truly the case. Pre-Judaic law was based more or less in philosophy. So the question is, if you want to base our laws in philosophy, which philosophy should they be based in? That of Socrates, Hamurabi or Jesus Christ?

little-cicero said...

Oops, I started that comment before kr's was posted. I hope it can be found. :)

By the way, I really do wonder how kr's comments can be considered mean spirited considering how many :) emoticons she uses :)

She uses so many that sometimes I think she's flirting. :)

Time said...

LC, Kr,

If you want to live in a country ruled by religious leaders and religious law, the Middle East has many to choose from. I would suggest you move there and enjoy the great lifestyle that these governments of higher moral religious values have to offer.

So you are saying that without your God; it would be beyond your control, it would be just natural for you to be an immoral, perverted, sinner.

kr pdx said...

Time: you are reading so(!) much into my comments, presumaby because cultural stereotypes you have chosen to accept based on your experience.

I actually didn't get in on this post right away because I couldn't decide whether Andy would peg me (based on the post) as a right extremist (clearly in the abortion debate), a left extremist (which way I strongly trend on environmental and feminist issues besides abortion), a moderate (on many social justice issues), or what ...

---
As I am specifically basing my assertions on the fact that we share many perceptions of what is right and wrong, it's a bit ridiculous for you to say I am claiming you have no sense of what is right.

Traditional Christian theology while, yes, essentially elitist in believing it has the best hold on what is right, openly acknowledges that lots of other people believe lots of the right stuff also. (If the traditional Christian God exists, the universe is in line with His will, and it's ridiculous to suggest that scientific study will reveal anything counter to His will, is one half, and people are naturally spiritual is the other half: a monopoly on morality is simply not logically defensible.)

---
I accept the fact that I might be totally wrong, as it's clearly stupid not to. Aware of that, I read a lot of alternative, anti-Christian, and non-theist work.

---
Again, I DID NOT go directly to the extreme. I used non-extreme examples first. I went to the extreme because it is was a clear example--at the end of my second comment on the subject.

Can you see through your own vitriol to actually read the words in the order I wrote them?

---
THIS DOES NOT EXCUSE THE ACTIONS OF MY FAITH COMMUNITY, but the therapy-and-move "solution" to priests who raped children was based on psychological theories of the time as well as a misapplication of the concept of confession/forgiveness. Secular faith-systems have their faults as well.

---
There are plenty of non-religious people who are bigotted against homosexual men, aren't there? Seems like I saw a bunch in college. They aren't depending on a false faith to justify their personal understanding/perception that homosexuality is sick and wrong. How do you know they are wrong and you aren't?

There are plenty of religious people who think homosexuality is not a moral issue; there are obviously non-religious people who think that too.

We have no accepted standard anymore, it is all about how we feel and the best we can figure out.

How does your feeling and life experience categorically trump mine? How does our sharing an opinion about, say, statutory rape, automatically trump the tradtions and beliefs of families in backwoods Appalachia or isolated parts of Utah?

---
If God is simply a human construct, why should that constructed belief system have any less right to participate in this country than the belief system you have constructed for yourself?

---
Death toll: Religion is probably proportionately responsible for more death etc (proportion of population at the time); atheism is numerically ahead (especially if one counts abortion, which obviously most won't). Just like the government issue, though, this is realy a measure of humans: when most of the humans are religious, it is likely most killing will have a religous aspect (religion being very bound up with life/death issues). When many humans fell away from religion, killing still happened, it just lost the religious trappings. Atheism certainly didn't stop the killing.

---
I have only rarely run into people so bigotted that they simply couldn't hear what I was actually saying. My first response, I didn't want to believe it, but perhaps you are one of them.

Am I the only person who finds it ironic that you are complaining about me being inflammatory?

I didn't disagree with a lot of what you and others said, or say generally here; I argued that point because it was an assertion I disagreed with.

I read this blog not because I want to argue and piss people off (which has been distinctly unenjoyable, in case you wondered), but because I hope to (and do) learn. Well, and I love Andy, and he's a great writer, and I'm a sucker for great writing.

Andy is welcome to ask me to leave at anytime.

kr pdx said...

Future Geek:

"There's nothing godly about the people who are trying to restrict abortion."

I hope that my reply to Chiron, which made many similar points to yours, opens your eyes to some of us who are--or at least who are aware of the conflict in making abortion illegal in a society that doesn't value children (and women) enough to protect them adequately. I hesitate to call myself "godly," even when I'm in a less disapproving group.

As you point out here, just because the most obvious spokespeople are objectionable (unarguably, they often are) doesn't mean that a movement doesn't have social pertinence--and it especially doesn't mean that there aren't many less crazy people who support the goal(s) of the movement. I was just making this point about feminism over at Little Cicero's.

I AGREE with the main thrust of Andy's post and most comments. The extreme voices have taken over "both sides" (aren't there supposed to be more than two?) of the "dialogue" (can we even call it that anymore? yuck!) on most issues big and small (homosexual unions, heterosexal unions, flag burning, abortion, feminism ... ), and it is because of our media tastes. Advertising money (media) and fear money (political groups) feed the monster.

Isn't the appropriate action for all of us, instead of continuing to jump on me for accidentally sidetracking the post (sigh, sorry--but what the hell, of course feel free if you have something new to add), to commit to cutting all our extremist media intake by 80%, and rewarding only responsible balanced media with our attention (and advertising dollars), except for occasional forays to keep track of what the nuts are saying?

little-cicero said...

Time, you are obviously doing to kr and I exactly what you accused kr of doing. Neither of us said anything about theocracy, we said that if morality dictates law, then the source of morality might have some bearing on law. The direct source of morality is interpretations of the word of God (religion) and the indirect source is God. I simply ask you this: If God is not the source of our morality, what is? If morality is not the source our our laws, what is?

Time said...

Kr,
I'll try to follow your comments.

I read what your comments said.

So here you admit you are an extremist.

Your the one insisting that your brand of religious morality must be reflected in our laws.

The first thing you listed was rape and pedophillia, (in that order) that's not extremist?

There is no excuse for the way the church hid and denied the facts of child molestation within their ranks. You explination shows a mistake being made using the wrong method. Fact is nothing was done, but a cover-up.

Your the one implying that only the morals of your religion are right. That's simply wrong, and we all make mistakes.

We do have accepted standards in the law. You just disagree with them so you describe that there are no standards.

I'm not saying that my morals trump yours, they don't. I'm not the one trying to get the government to institute my morals into the law, as your religion IS trying to do.

Because a God construct is intolerant and discriminatory. As such, it does not belong in our structurs of laws.

This is helpfull, lets add up the number of deaths caused by religion; then compare it to some other death number and say see, not so bad.

Right, after all the things you make judgement about, call me a bigot.

I heard what you said, I reject it, I said so, and you refuse to hear.

Did I call you a bigot? NO, but you religious people are so nice.


You find it unenjoyable to piss people off, yet you seem to do it often. And I don't mean just me. But I guess calling me a bigot dosen't give you a clue why people feel that way about you.

We are humans, killing isn't going to stop. Killing was here before Christ and has gotten even worse since Christ. How do you explain the rise of religion and the rise of killing, at the same time.

I doubt Andy would delete you, he has an open mind. He is welcome to delete me if he wants to.

Time said...

LC,
Din't your mom or teacher tell you never to answer a question, with a question?

If you don't have an answer, fine.

kr pdx said...

PS I've looked back again. I included peophilia in the first example. That is a moral extreme ... but it was an extreme which I hoped everyone here would agree on, and therefore wouldn't be a trigger point, which I was trying to specifically avoid; once I said statutory rape, it seemed odd not to include pedophilia (which comes up every time Catholicism does, now, and so would come up eventually in any series of attacks on perceived moral extremists--which it did).

I tried to avoid divisive extremes in my first example; it was incorrect to earlier claim I completely avoided extremes. I am sorry I made that incorrect statement.

For what it is worth, I am also sorry for the pain that I have here caused or caused to surface. It was not my aim. I am sure that doesn't even begin to make up for the injury/-ies. But it's what I have to give right now.

kr pdx said...

I actually wrote and posted that before seeing Time's comment which I accidentally answered. I will now finish reading that comment.

little-cicero said...

Time, I didn't see any questions directed at me. What was the question that I answered with a question?

By the way, I've never heard that answering questions with questions is a bad thing to do. Who told you that? Socrates? You certainly weren't told this by a rabbi or sage.

kr pdx said...

Time.

OK, we are clearly using the same words to mean different things somewhere. Long live Deconstructionism.

We see each other as extreme because we have managed to hit (hopefully all of) the points on which we most violently disagree, in particular, the legitimacy of the claims of religion in general and Christianity specifically, particularly tradtional Christianity.

I am sorry that I specifically cannot remember where you stand on homosexual marriage. There are readers here who are both not religous and pro-homosexual-marriage. Religous people often call them zealots for their belief system and the conclusions it leads them to reach. Advocating homosexual marriage is attempting to impose a (your?) morality on a great number of people who condsider it extreme.

(I am previously on the record here for heterosexual and homosexual unions being treated equally by the federal government, in case anyone here is new.)

Extremism is as much a function of the observer's point of view as of the actual positions taken. I think. You clearly don't have to (and seem unlikely to) agree.

I am NOT saying I want to force my entire morality system on you. I am saying that I should have as much right to try to, if I want to, as any atheist or agnostic or non-theist (and I will take my lumps in the political arena like anyone else, too). My belief-system is not necessarily of lesser value than yours just because you find it uncomfortable. There are many billions of people who would argue your extreme disgust for the idea of a life based on a belief in (a) god is obnoxious or silly. Does that make them right to dismiss your right to participate with your full person in political life? After all, don't you know, you clearly are misguided and have therefore only damaging things to contribute ... which is CLEARLY NOT TRUE.

Religious bigots dismiss people they disagree with as sub-human, not worth listening to. This is deeply unethical of them.

Do you see? We are all, warts and all, pain and all, disagreements and all, part of the political system. That is the whole point of America, isn't it?

I am not saying, and never said, I was perfect or knew everything. I believe about my belief system, as you believe about yours, that it represents reality as best I have figured out thus far. I am always working on it. Humans are certainly not perfect (whatever that means).

I am frustrated that you seem to be blindly pinning every evil that ever happened during times when there were a lot of religious people onto the religion. Since the evil didn't stop with the removal of the God-construct, it is not a cop-out but simply more logical to assume the badness is a function of humanity. As is goodness also. How does religion fit in, then? That's where you and I disagree.

About the number killed ...
Oh, wait, let me cut that. Did you hear "we haven't killed as many people, so we aren't SO bad"? Sorry. What I'm actually trying to get at is the point above, that you are blaming religion for things that can be more logically associated with other sources. Religious killing is bad. I wouldn't argue otherwise.

Interesting assertion on the common basis in law, by which theoretically secular standard you think we should abide. I had never considered it quite so extremely before, as a basis for morals and ethics in itself in isolation. Huh. I am sure there are about 5 million articles on the web tracing our legal bases back to Judeo-Christian (and presumably earlier Indo-European, but the articles are mostly written by Christians, of course, so probably don't mention that) legal systems, if you care. (LC, his argument on this isn't answered with your source argument. The material is itself its own source, complete, if one wants to think of it that way--the possibility is written into the system.) I choose to see the longer lineage. Because of my belief system. You don't see that as pertinent, because of yours. Here we are.

When I said, above, "We have no accepted standard anymore, it is all about how we feel and the best we can figure out," I wasn't being sarcastic. Including, I meant WE. Together. Working things out.

Hopefully.

Painful in the trenches, though.

little-cicero said...

IF YOU GUYS WOULD LIKE I HAVE TRANSCRIBED YOUR INTERACTION FOR FURTHER CLARITY, SO YOU CAN CONTINUE THIS DISCUSSION ON MY NEVER USED DEBATE BLOG, WHICH CAN BE FOUND AT:

partisanpatriots.blogspot.com

little-cicero said...

(as long as we're talking about ourselves being kicked off, might as well kick ourselves off for Andy's sake!)

As long as the comments are, it's hard to keep track, so this resource is for my own as well as your own clarity.

kr pdx said...

Since I do not get some sick thrill from hurting people, I am totally willing to leave this community if in fact people find my presence here mostly hurtful.

At the risk of more unhappiness in my day, please (anyone who is still reading, anyway, or whoever you want ot invite back who you think would want to comment) let me know if you think I should stay or go. (LC, unless you say otherwise, I will assume your vote is "stay." It would probably be emotionally prudent, in deference to the people who have been hurt, for you to not post a supportive kr comment.) I am presuming from Andy's deafening silence that I have stepped over a line with him as well as Time at some point today.

I have spent most of my life being attacked for my beliefs, as it sounds like Time has. I have tried very hard to not be sarcastic or otherwise demeaning, as I try in all areas of my life, but respectful of each person, and of each arguments on its own merits, throughout my time in this community. Today was a challenge. I apologize where I fell short.

kr pdx said...

Pff. Written before I saw LC's posts, so without that context, for wht it matters.

Future Geek said...

I don't think Andy would want y'all kicked off... I don't want you kicked off.

This is why we blog, to argue and figure things out.

PS. KR I wasn't attacking you with my post, just making some observations about the state of Christianity and why we godless liberals are ticked off.

Future Geek said...

As for Andy's silence, it's Friday night and he's single.

kr pdx said...

FG, thank you. I did not take your comment as an attack; but I was personally relieved that I had written an "answer" while you were writing the question; I thought (obviously) your points were very valid and definitely not often enough considered by pro-lifers.

[Thanks also for reminding me about Friday night ;). Which I suppose means this question will need to sit until many readers "sleep it off" ... and that I might get a number of very raw responses ... so I will probably not check in here again until late night.]

little-cicero said...

KR, I would much rather have your presence in a debate if you disagreed with me than Time's if he agreed with me.

Time, kr has been nothing but honest and decent in this debate. I will quote her original comment to provide evidence of this:

" TIme:
"To ban behavior, to force some else to live their beliefs, is intolerance. And that is un-American"

Statutory rape. Pedophilia. Physical abuse (of, in I believe order of legislation, domestic animals, children, women, spouses). Hate speech. Driving too fast/dangerously. Pouring poison in a river.

Intolerance of behaviors, and the resultant shoving of our beliefs on other people, is not necessarily a "bad" thing, and is certainly not un-American: protections, justice, etc. ..."

Wrap your mind, Time, around this concept: laws are based in morality. That is all that she was saying in this comment. If anything you were making an insulting remark by calling those who disagree with you unAmerican.

Time said...

Nothing but Honest and decent,

If readers want to look back she refered to me as a bigot! On your blog she refered to me as a dead horse! I called her no name to deserve that. She's the one that started in with the Extremes. Am I then expected to reply with bowing to her name calling?

Please debate her instead of me. Debating you is a dishonest debate where no one can learn anything. You never know what your talking about before you blow your hot air on any subject. All you have are your uneducated opinions.

When I bring facts into a debate with you, you ignor them. When I tell you where to find facts, you don't bother to look them up.

You like to "stir the pot" as you put it, by inventing an issue that is not an issue, just to see people jump all over it, that's fun for you.

You even invent fake bloggers (doctruck) to present a viewpoint that you are to ashamed to admit is your own. Doctruck, never heard of him before, even though we discussed many issues that directly involved the military. Doctruck, never heard of him since. Blogger says they have no record of such a name.

You have taken me out of contex many times. You refuse to answer questions I ask, that directly refute the point you were making. I could go on and on.

Your a spoiled, rich kid, dishonest, brat; who likes to play games with people, which is why I took you off my link list. Although I still don't delete your comments when you post on my blog.

I could go on but you are a waste of my TIME. So print whatever lies you want to get me going, I will go, all over you.

kr pdx said...

Time, I did not call you a dead horse. I called the argument(s) a dead horse. Which it seems to be. LC was playing word games; one of my readers turned a similar non-sequitor semantic trick on him earlier.

I did call you a bigot. I'm not really sure whether I want to take that back. Your reactions to me claimed a huge number of things about me that aren't true; things I know that I have never argued here (or anywhere) because I don't now believe, and haven't in my memory (which goes back pretty reliably back to four years old) ever believed, them.

Your accusations did reflect stereotypical views about the Religious Right or Roman Catholics, so yes, I assume you are a bigot towards one or both of those groups, since you can't seem to see past your prejudices to see me.

I am extreme "right" on abortion, personally currently "right" (but functionally moderate) on homosexuality, pretty far left environmentally, feministically (abortion kills girls too, and is largely a symptom of some bad patterns against women in society), and as regards industry regulation (and I'm extremely left about the medical establishment), fairly left on free speech (pornography exception, yes, because I consider it a social justice issue), and triangular on race issues and social jusice issues (my opinions fit niether "right" nor "left") ...

I recognize the complaints against the tactics of "the right," because I largely agree with you all ... (in fact, I have here found myself putting quotes around "right" because I don't want to directly associate with what they are being made into).

I simply can't imagine thinking other people are stupid because they don't believe what I believe, nor thinking they are somehow "less" than me ...

I never had some insular (/insulating) group of people around me who thought "like me" (at least not by a month after birth), but I generally like people and have consistently been recognized--specifically, in words, to my face and by second hand report--as a good, supportive, understanding person to have around.

I have been considered loopy left by many Christians (those who can't see past various prejudices, as I'm sure you can argue against me), I have been looked at as stupidly right by lots of lefties (those who didn't know me except by some particular piece of reputation). I am just NOT who you paint me to be, some freaky-dink religion-forcer, and the painting matches so many others I have heard and read ... I discuss Christian religion here because it is a set of issues and thoughts that Andy and I mostly share, and that is importnat to both of us, because it is his blog. In discussions with non-Christians, those aspects of my thinking are toned way down or don't come up, because why would a non-Christian care? I know that. This is a Christian's blog, so Christianity is pertinent here. Whether or not you think it is anywhere else.

Oh, I wanted to say that I should have said I'd never seen the law arguement put so "absolutely"--"extremely" was obviously a bad word to choose.

[As far as my post over at LC's, I introduced it as exploratory, and mentioned again in the comments that I was looking to work things out. It was not meant to be "the truth distilled," nor even to have a definite point; I wanted substantive input if anyone had any. I invited my smartest most liberal feminist friend to comment first, which she took time from her dissertation to do. More or less pointing out where I was an idiot. Which is fine, because that's what I asked her to do, and to contribute if she had anything; we have long accepted that we perceive things extremely differently.]

little-cicero said...

Time, out of deference to Andy I'm going to strain to be decent, but your continual denial of the existance of Lance Corporal doctruck, who is my cousin who I talked to last week, in the flesh, proves that you are paranoid to the point of risks to your own health. For goodness sake, why on earth is it so hard to believe that a marine veteran disagrees with your view of the war? You remind me more of Richard Nixon than anyone else in this manner of yours.

That paranoia, in addition to your tendency to feel that people are attacking you with every disagreement that you find difficult to counter, shows an underlying complex for which I sincerely hope you seek psychological treatment. You are obviously a very unhappy person, for reasons that may well be beyond your control, so I am going to ask once again that we discontinue our association, and that you proceed to resolve whatever issues are bothering you in your life.

I simply cannot have such an angry individual engaging me in discussion any longer. I will pray that you find peace, but in the mean time, I will seek peace in my own blog.

Time said...

LC,

That's funny because I ended our dialogs a long time ago. I know you like to say you did first, but check you blog the truth is there.

Doctruck does not exsist. Please prove that he does. Blogger says that he does not. You are a liar LC and I have proved it many times. Again, check your blog, liar.

You have lied and been indecent on Andy's blog many times. You just said that kr had been nothing but decent to me after she called me a bigot. She agreed that she did call me abigot and you say she was nothing but nice to me, WHICH IS IT LIAR? You are dilusional.

Peace? By your own admition your blog is for stiring things up and you use lies, deception, and misinformation to do it.

I told you I took you off my links and I told you why, your dishonest. Yet you keep making comments on my blog, why? Cause you love it. Have your fun but don't expect me to bow to you.

little-cicero said...

Bubye.

Time said...

Of course you have nothing to say because what I said is true. You can dish it out but you can't take it. You have to revert to name calling, childish. And no, I'm not going to roll over for you.

Time said...

little-cicero said...
Well, I don't know if Ann Coulter ever lied, but I don't consider her a credit to the Right by any means.

I appreciate this post as it shows a great deal of intellectual honesty on your part.

Mon Jun 12, 08:48:22 PM CDT

Your comment to me, about me. Just a few days ago. The only change;
Seems when my intellectual honesty is aimed at you, you can't stand up to it. So you attack, name call, and suggest mental illness. This is the kinder religious right? These are the people who want me to live by their morals.

Future Geek said...

Ah. Nothing like a nice philosophical discussion with some friends online....

kr pdx said...

FG: Impressively gentle.

Everyone else/Time: I am not angry, as such, at Time, I am frustrated.

Time: And, yes, hurt, if you want/need to hear that or care.

You technically didn't call me bigot, with the actual term, first. You said this about me (I am cutting two statements about my religion, as not directly pertaining to your opinions of me):
"You seem to think that ONLY religious people know right from wrong. ... ... The idea that non-religious people don't know right from wrong is elitist and stupid. The idea that people will live with evil in their hearts if they don't follow your God, shows just how much your religion has brainwashed you. The idea that yours is the one and only God everyone must follow is dilusional."

So you did directly call me "delusional" (which you are now complaining about as unjustifiable abuse from LC, by the way). You also attributed two (very serious) prejudices to me, that you imply I think about all non-religious people. You didn't call me the spelled-out word "bigot"--but you did call me the whole meaning of the word, and more or less the entire exchange since that has been ceneterd around your belief in that definition of me. When LC introduced the bigot word, trying to defend me, it was clearly from your post. You didn't say "Oh, LC, I didin't mean she was a bigot."

Even before that, you said, after only my first post wherein there were no attacks on you, only on one assertion you had made that I often see (from both sides) and find damaging, "So please don't say that I include the criminal behavior that you list, that all people find more than anti-social, and agree cannot be allowed for a civil society. / Talk about twisting words and mean spirited debate." Rather than immediately accepting that you meant to make so many presuppositions about me (were bigotted), I tried to answer that cry of ... pain? frustration? only you know ... in various ways, from the next comment on: I was specifically trying to choose, in that first comment, issues THAT WE PROBABLY AGREED MADE DECENT LAWS--I was deliberately assuming your moral competence--but issues that were all at one time or another considered socially acceptible behavior and making laws about them considered extremist. Except pedophilia, but again, an issue we clearly AGREE ON. Meaning, you got there sans religion. Absolutely acknowledged within the very argument you took to impy I thought you couldn't. That is why I apologized that we'd had a misunderstanding.

[An extremely bad issue (pedophilia, murder) is not necessarily an "extremist" issue (abortion); being anti- either of those is clearly centrist. I am sorry I got semantically off track; what I didn't include in my first assertion (I'll get this right eventually) is "extremist" issues.]

My first assertion/argument, though, was to counter your assrtion, which I hear regularly from BOTH political extremes (I am on some very disparate mailing lists, like Andy--although I get the left ones because I signed up to support some of their issues, unlike Andy and the AFA). Many people on The Right really truly believe that any pro-homosexual stance/law/ruling is a false, unsupportable, and, yes, evil morality being forced onto them though law and government. (I prefer to try to see people as people, and can we on the right get over the better-than-thou phase PLEASE???) Many people on the left see in views like mine on abortion pretty much the same moral threat--lots of people would include "evil" in the list. (That feminist friend doesn't--quite--when speaking about/to me, but she'd certainly stand by the first two!) If there is no God, the Right has just as much a human-constructed value-set as the Left. How does it work that only one side gets to complain when thier value-set is threatened?

If there wasn't a need to stop a behavior-set, for some perceived moral or measurable good to the country, there is no need to have a law. We all know that there are some people who in fact have NOT gotten their morality worked out, with/without God.

LEGISLATION IS ABOUT IMPOSING RULES AND (at least by implication) MORALS/ETHICS.

I suspect a lot of your reaction is because in arguments here I often end up siding, in qualified ways, with LC? And you clearly have a history there which I unfortunately didn't take into account. I disagree with LC much more on his blog than I disagree with Andy here--and am doing my darndest to pull him to the "left" as appropriate opportunities arise. (As I am sure he would tell you but oh my God(!) I hope he doesn't back out of backing out right now ... ! )

I was not trying to attack you. I know there are readers of this who think I am being immature--seemingly because I said you were "so bigotted," which was (1) based on the evidence I have, (2) which I have offerd many opportunities to disprove, and (3) which was not in fact calling you A Bigot, it is calling you a bigot about (and I still don't know which) Catholics or Religious Righters. If I thought youwere A Bigot, unredeemable, I wouldn't have bothered trying to get you to see the broader pictures I offered.

You don't have to accept my views. I think they are right, yes, just as you think yours are right. I would hope if one of us thought some other set of views were more right, we would choose to adopt the other set. Thinking ones views are superior is inevitable, that's why we hold them. Thinking the self is superior is a choice. Comparing and , yes, judging beliefs against one's own is responsible--it's open-mindedness, an attempt to learn and better one's moral self. Judging the people who hold those beliefs? That is not healthy.

What I would like (but obviously you can choose not to give) is for you to accept my humanity. We are all fallable--we all make mistakes. I believe we all have an equal chance at learning the truth, presuming there is one (although cultural factors such as bad parenting and bad education would negate that belief if I didn't believe in God). I have tried throughout this exchange to reach out to our shared humanity--even calling you bigotted was echoing your own accusations against me.

An offering of imperfection: after all that hoopla about I can't imagine thinking I'm better ... yesterday afternoon I caught myself feeling undeniably superior about environmentalism.

But I did "catch myself:" I used the moment (as anyone who takes Christ's teachings at all seriously ought to) to reinforce humility, acknowledge my obvious imperfections, and to construct a less prideful set of conscious thinking about environmentalism, presuming that repetition will eventually reprogram the subconscious.

Please, I would really like you to see that I have tried to parallel our experiences, not to make them tiered.

But if you cannot, that's OK. (And I really mean that. I am not being dismissive. People are where they are. Certainly I have forgiveness issues. Among many issues.) Which brings me back to my other question, which I will post again separately:

kr pdx said...

Everyone except FG, LC, and Time, who have already answered:

Please let me know if my presence is mostly hurtful. I will in fact go away if that is what the community wants.

kr pdx said...

PS I am keeping the exchange here instead of moving to LC's blog because if Time is right and I am hurting people, they too deserve to see me face the music.

little-cicero said...

Time, you didn't respond to any arguments. All you did was respond to the word "bigotted". I made a clear, rational argument and series of questions on the relationship between morality an law; you ignored the questions and made an extreme-based argument that governments that based their laws in religious morality are like theocracies in the Middle East.

There's nothing wrong with that in my view, but what about you? I am perfectly capable of seeing through the extremes of that statement, but you are not. KR did nothing but make an argument tying the logic of basing our laws on notions of extreme immorality to the logic of basing our laws on notions of moderate immorality.

little-cicero said...

By the way, I was somewhat insulted when Time made aloud the assumption that I had never had a relationship and I had never had sex with anything but my hand, in those words.

Andy said...

Hey look, kittens!

Homer said...

"My, don't we feel superior." That's a classy thing to say about someone.

I have no problem with religion as long as it doesn't affect my life. People are free to do whatever they want. But when they use their religious interpretations to create rules or laws that affect me, I will do anything I can to stop them.

Time said...

So what is the answer to that question LC? I mean if your going to give out the do's and don'ts of male/female relationships, it's a legitimate question.

Andy said...

Well, you were the one who made the lame and woefully inaccurate generalization. The Bible is not "a two thousand year old book." That's possibly the least accurate description of all the descriptions taht could be made. It's also not just "rules," and religious people don't even agree on the rules. You write as if the best thing religion could do for you is leave you alone completely. You don't even seem remotely open to the idea that religion could be a very positive force in your life, even to the extent of being an advocate FOR you on legal issues.

Time said...

Have any experience with this LC?

Of course this is so, but to add to that, we're content with our mortal flaws- and nothing more. As much as society values self-esteem, it fails in doing so to value self-improvement. Women tend to assume that if men find them pushy or bossy, they're simply afraid of their feminine strength, arrogantly parading it without considering likeability. Consequently, men and women are either marrying less or having less successful marriages- all because of feminism. Feminists fail to recognize that it is because of, not despite of, the charm of a woman that a woman gets her strength.

Time said...

What personal experience is this all based on LC?

That seems to be where my condition of laziness/lack of ambition/irresponsibility comes in. If the man refuses dominance, of course it should not be awarded him. I personally do not find it a healthy outlook to be recessive to a woman's dominance, and it often does have psychological consequences, but in that case the man ought to work out whatever is causing that defect.

Andy said...

Consequently, men and women are either marrying less or having less successful marriages- all because of feminism. Feminists fail to recognize that it is because of, not despite of, the charm of a woman that a woman gets her strength.

For a variety of reasons I have just stayed clear of this whole thread. But I kind of feel obligated to jump in here. I think I see where you're going; if I understand, you have sort of a Maureen Dowd-ish approach (she's a NY Times columnist) to feminism, in that it has meant well but it has forced women to choose between being successful career wise or in a happy relationship. So you're not alone in your ideas, but I don't think we can just say "feminism" is the reason that marriage is changing in this country, and specifically because feminist women don't understand that their "charm" is their "strength." Frankly, I think talking about a feminine "charm" is sexist language that many of them would reject, while simultaneously rejecting your claim that they don't already know that.

My theory as to why people are getting married less frequently? Because they are taking it more seriously. People are not just getting married because you're "supposed" to. They're not just getting married to legitimize and cover up unwanted pregnancies. They're no longer holding to abstinence before marriage so they're not marrying the first person that comes along that they're sexually attracted to. I think for the first time in our culture, people are getting married because they REALLY value commitment, not because they feel obligated to present the appearance that they do.

little-cicero said...

This is not a scientific journal, Time, it is a blog. I was making admittedly generalized observations which were to be freely contradicted by others if they had other observations. I am a firm believer, as I have stated previously, in the value of generalizations in our observations as they are essential to coming to opinions or conclusions. Apparently you have come to the conclusion that George Bush is a moron through the generalization that he never does anything right- but the truth is that you've never even met the man, so you are making a generalization. It may be right, it may not be, but it enabled you to make a conclusion.

little-cicero said...

62 comments! Yay for Andy!

Andy said...

Homer, I felt obligated to comment on this further. I know my response to you was snarky, but seriously, you're in no position to call me on it. You're the one who said, not in so many words, that religious people just want to feel superior to others. That sounds A LOT to me like you're congratulating yourself for being superior to all those silly religious folks. And the more you comment, the more you reveal that your beliefs come from unenlightened prejudice. I don't know what your political/social affiliation is, but as I wrote at the close of this post, I can only encourage people to not rest comfortably with what they think they know and instead be open to new ideas.

Time said...

The words "I personally" mean something different to me.

Time said...

I have never called GW a moron. I don't know where you get that.

The President is a public person, who's words and decision are recorder and reported. From that record, we can make an informed decision, not make it up in our minds.

Future Geek said...

I'm going to go ahead and say what needs to be said.

George Bush is a moron.

Carry on with your discussion.

kr pdx said...

What the hell!

I laughed!

In this string!

Who'da thunk. Go FG ;).

little-cicero said...

Oh, to Andy, I don't mean to say that there's one reason that people aren't marrying as much, but considering the often herein cited divorce rates, I doubt that it is because people are being more careful. If they are, then great, but I don't see the evidence for that. It was a somewhat simplistic comment, but from start to finish it was my "theory" on feminism, though you're right to site any sexist language. Feminine charm to me is a very real instrument that is used on myself and moreso on other men (I don't know if your subject as well or if women have a sixth sense for your 'immunity')

Which begs the question, are you immune to this charm of which I speak?

little-cicero said...

Sorry Time, I took for granted from your frequent (and harsh) criticism that you thought he was a moron. Maybe I got you confused with future geek, Andy or one of the other thirty percent of Americans who think so.
:) Kudos to Future Geek for telling it like [he thinks] it is!

futuregeek, but I could be anyone if I wanted said...

I'm going to weigh in here. Time - you don't have to have a blog to post comments on blogger. You can post using any name you want. That's probably why Doctruck didnt' show up in your search - not because LC made him up.

Everybody: chill out. These sorts of flame wars don't do anyone any good.

LC: Your views on feminism are pretty bizzarre. I hope, since you are an intelligent being, that a few years of experience, and studying of the matter, that you will realize the error in your comments.

If the man refuses dominance, of course it should not be awarded him. I personally do not find it a healthy outlook to be recessive to a woman's dominance, and it often does have psychological consequences, but in that case the man ought to work out whatever is causing that defect

WTF?

You know, if a woman is my boss, I will 'be recessive' to her dominance. If a woman is an expert in her field, I will 'be recessive' to her dominance.

In addition, I work part time and take care of my son, while my wife works and makes more money than I do. Does that make me less of a man?

The 'traditional' gender roles just don't fit into today's society. In addition, as Andy pointed out, changes in marriage and relationships result from a whole bunch of different factors. You'll notice that marriage and childbearing both decrease as countries become richer and more industrialized. This lends weight to Andy's ideas about marriage.

Time said...

Blogging with LC, is a dishonest roller coaster. He’ll say one thing, later deny it.

You’ll be talking about an issue, then he’ll change the point or the subject when you ask a question that GETS him.

He’ll invent issues, invent stories to bring up an issue, invent bloggers to make a point, in short he’ll do or say anything.

He’s not interested in facts, he won’t check facts, but he’s willing to say that you are wrong when you bring up true facts.

LC will come on my blog and call me an asshole, but you can’t do that on his blog, he has rules and morals - don’t you know.

LC , it seems, is always putting his foot in his mouth. LC is always saying he’s sorry - yet he never means it, or why would he continue to do the same thing?

Here are examples of blogging with LC.

Oh, when he says he posted this thread on his blog for all to read, he left out about ½ of all that was posted. Typical LC.

Take the blogging trip I have had with LC. Of course throughout you’ll notice that LC only answers about 1 in 10 questions, yet DEMANDS answers from me.

On LC’s blog:
Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Sorry,

I want to apologize for last week’s post quoting Time, Future Geekand Andy other readers in their arguments for the ACLU’s defense of the National Man Boy Love Association. To imply that those readers or the ACLU supported what this organization stood for is simply wrong

On my blog:

Little cicero said...
Hmm...I see ten people behind that sign. Behind it in the march are other signs representing other anti-war groups. Do you make this big of a deal out of 8 retired generals speaking out against the war? Oh wait, never mind, I know the answer to that question.
Mon May 01, 08:22:40 PM CDT

Time said...
I chose this picture because I have respect for the VET's that fought in Iraq.

Would you not give any respect at all for the opinions of those generals who have spent all their lives in uniform?
Mon May 01, 08:54:47 PM CDT

little-cicero said...
It just seems like you're trying to make it seem as if the whole march is made up of Veterans when you put the Veterans at the front. Really it's rather pathetic how few marchers are really there.
Tue May 02, 06:31:14 PM CDT

Time said...
LC,
I put the vet's up because that's who I have the most respect for. The people who fought in the war are the most important voice against the war.

There were 300,000 marchers in NY alone and marches all over the country. There are 10's of thousands of vets against the war. And 100's of thousands of their family members against the war.

Check out: veteransagainsttheiraqwar.com Tue May 02, 09:35:06 PM CDT

Time said...
Sorry LC, wrong address it's: www.vaiw.org/vet/index.php
Check it out - there are many fighting in Iraq NOW that are against the war!
Tue May 02, 09:52:09 PM CDT

Time said...
Ouestion L.C.
Why would someone fight and/or die for a cause/policy they DON'T believe in?
Sat May 06, 10:41:28 PM CDT

little-cicero said... Following Orders, but that's irrelevant. The reason that the Right supports the troops is that the Right (along with most Americans) believes that their cause is a noble and moral cause.

It is only the Left that believes that their cause is one of greed and immoral motives.
Sun May 07, 09:10:27 AM CDT


Time said...
You didn't answer the question!

You imply that the left don't support the troops, that is a lie, it's the policy they don't support.

The right tries to tell the nation that the left don't support fighting men because they disagree with the policy, that's a dishonest lie.

The troops do it because the country is at war and their fellow Americans are dying. It's even more heroic that some do disagree (did you check out the vets against the Iraq war site, I doubt it) with the policy and still go fight and die. They can't sit by while others put their lives on the line.

This is why we have to hold our leaders responsible for the fighters safety. If they don't have the tools (like enough troops or the best equipment)they need to fight, that's the Presidents fault!

Does the President care? NO! Why did he cut Vet's benefits in the middle of a war? Why ever cut Vet's benefits? As long as they live, we owe them!

Why is the public (with private donations) building a burn center in Arizona for military people? That facility will be turned over to the Vets Dept. to run, when it's finished!

Shouldn't the taxpayers be paying for that? Why are private citizens paying for bullet proof vests? And on, and on! Because of Bush's tax cuts, he doesn’t have the money to pay for them!

Conservatives like to speak of patriotism and our great fighting men; why do they treat them like shit;? why do they needlessly endanger their lives;? why do they not give them the tools to fight with.?

The economic numbers are misleading the country to think we are doing fine. That's because the war costs are not in the budget, they are always a supplemental, why?

So the President can make himself look good! While our troops are dying, the Presidents concern is for himself! Immoral!

If you want to disagree, then disagree on the facts! You wouldn't even check out the facts when I told you where to find them! On both on the ACLU issue and the Vet's against Iraq issue!

You would look pretty silly if I took out of context your statements. If that's the way you want to discuss things, fine.

Thanks for misleading your readers about my position on the ACLU and making it look like I support child molesters.
Sun May 07, 11:32:01 AM CDT

little-Cicero said...
I'm sorry Time. Really, I simply apologize for any personal defamation, and I hope that you continue to come to my blog as much as possible.

You are a valued contributor, and I am willing to beg if it means having you continue to contribute. If you don't mind, I would like to continue to contribute to this blog and respond to your argument.
Wed May 10, 06:03:17 PM CDT

Time said...
How about this post? You try to infer that I deceive my readers.

You say that there are only ten Vets against the war in this anti-war march of over 300,000. Or that there are only 8 generals in the whole armed forces that don't like the war policies of the administration. Sun May 21, 10:47:43 PM CDT

little-cicero said...
"It just seems like you're trying to make it seem as if the whole march is made up of Veterans when you put the Veterans at the front. "

Time said...
It is one aspect of the whole march. Next time I'll show many pictures depicting all the different people who make up the march.

You do have an obligation to understand what's happening in an event before you criticize.

As I said, I decided to show only one picture and I chose this one because I have great respect for the opinion of those who actually fought in the war. Sat May 27, 07:06:03 AM CDT

Time said...
I don't agree with everything the ACLU does, but these accusations that they support child molesters is crazy.

They are making a point of law that the Constitution does not allow some of the actions communities are doing to these criminals.

I could care less about child molesters, I hope they all burn in Hell.

The points of law that the ACLU is defending effect more than just criminals, they effect law abiding citizens.

I am not willing to give up some of my freedoms, or dilute the Constitution for the feel good revenge that people want against child molesters.

It is simply dishonest to say that the ACLU promotes, agrees with, defends, condones, or in any way wants these scumbags to be allowed to hurt children.

To preserve freedom for all, some bad slips by. There is no loop hole to be plugged. The same laws that protect you, protects them. And special laws against them are not allowed by the Constitution. Mon May 08, 07:03:00 PM CDT

Jeremy said...
Hey really well said.
Anyway, yes most people don't know how much the ACLU advocates for groups that totally oppose them. They're there to protect the rights of EVERYONE.

They defend conservative Christians all the time, and even offered to help Rush Limbaugh in his pharmaceutical junkie drug case.
After all, who is to decide who can speak out and who can't? Tue May 09, 11:03:30 PM CDT

little-cicero said...
Oh, you're talking to me, right? Wed May 10, 05:49:45 PM CDT

Time said...
NO, LC, this is not all about you. You must be paranoid or an egotist to think that a serious issue like this is all about you. Maybe it's because you really don't care about the issue, you just want to see yourself in print and the reaction to what you say.
Sat May 20, 04:33:01 PM CDT

Time said...
LC, you disqualify yourself by the false and misleading sources you use to make your points. Or no source at all. Check out what actions they are involved in, why, and see the court filing papers at : WWW.ACLU.ORG
Sat May 20, 04:34:28 PM CDT

Time said...
LC,
I never mentioned the ACLU in this post. It's very clear what I'm talking about. What's also clear is that you are trying to change the subject of the post to suit your shots at me, as usual, dishonest. Yet I will reply,

Why does the ACLU have no place defending NAMBLA just because it is a civil case? Criminal or civil they can defend whoever they want to. Who are you to tell the ACLU who they can defend or not?

Again you try to make this post about the ACLU which it is not, that is why you make no sense.

The charge you talk about with NAMBLA was not the original case I was referencing. Again, you change the issue to fit your point, each issue is different. I might agree with you, I will have to read the court papers on this case, sorry you didn't do the same about the case I originally brought up, that you never responded to.

If the AClU has every right to defend whoever they wish, why not NAMBLA? Earlier you said they only could defend them if it were a civil case, which is it?

1) I am not misleading readers, this post is not about the ACLU, that is clear. It is you who are trying to mislead readers by trying to equate this post with the ACLU issue. Dishonest.

2) I said that people who don't believe in a right to a defense (as stated in the 6th amendment) are un-American because they are against the Constitution. I don't think I ever mentioned your name or the ACLU, did I?

3) Be adult? When I post on your blog you usually ignore me even if I ask a direct question. Then you come on my blog and DEMAND a response?

This is not subversive! This is not ONLY about you. Many people post the same thing and I'm responding to them, not just you, egotist, paranoid. I wouldn't mind discussing issues with you but you are so dishonest about the issues, what's the use?

You totally distorted the ACLU issue and what I said, that the issue is no longer there. What's left is what point you want to make, not a response to the original issue I made.

It's not a coincidence that I wrote this post about the 6th amendment, as I said many have been questioning the right to a defense because they find the offense so horrible, they don't think some crimes deserve a defense. Wrong.

If you want to discuss something, don't use false, misleading sources. The "Stop the ACLU" is not a credible source to use when discussing why and what the ACLU is doing.

When I blast the President I don't use as my source the "Impeach the President Now" group and what they say. I use respected reporters (check my posts).

Conservative Cajun says of my complaint about his post being not credible; that he says I shouldn't talk-he looked at my blog and found it slanted to the left.

That's not the point! Left or right use credible sources to make your point, not some extremist group who is misleading.

Since those sources are misleading and FALSE, so his and your arguments that are based on that false information, are false and dishonest.

It's no fun and I don't learn anything discussing an issue with a dishonest debater. I won't link my readers to a blog I know is dishonest.

Ask you professors what an unbiased, credible source is. Oh, sorry they don't call them professors in high school.

You'll probably never see this response because I'm busy and could not respond instantly as you DEMANDED, but with most children I tend to ignore their irrational demands.

You can come on my blog and say whatever you want. Did I delete anything you wrote? I will leave it to other readers to respond, same as they tend to tear you apart on Andy's blog.
Sat May 20, 04:22:47 PM CDT

little-cicero said...
I don't know why you take this so personally, but I'm sorry that you are so insulted.

I'm sorry that I took you out of context, and I'm sorry if I implied that you were pro-NAMBLA, which was not my intention.

If you had time to deliberately take me off of your blogroll, it would seem that you had ample time to respond to my comment in more than a few words.

I don't know where you get this idea that I have ignored your comments. That is not only dishonest, it is a lie. I might not address your comment directly every time, but at least I respond.
Sat May 20, 11:13:38 PM CDT

Time said...
I take it personally because you attack me personally.

Your sorry that you took me out of context, but you did take my statement out of context; which distorted what I said and what I meant. I take that personally - How should I take it?

My 6th amendment post came among the ACLU discussion because MANY bloggers were stating that they didn't think these crimes deserved a defense, but I already said that you must have missed it.

I didn't use your name, because it's not about YOU, you can't get over that.

Again, I'm not endorsing your blog because you are dishonest. You can still post here without being censored.

Yet when you comment on my post, you don't come back to read my reply to your comment or you would have seen the sources I referred you to.

The ACLU WOULD go out of its way to take this case. Not because of the group involved, but because of the point of law in the Constitution that the ACLU is trying to protect.

Again it has little to do with NAMBLA but the point of LAW. You can't get this either.


I know you have no interest in me, your refusal to reply to the questions I ask you on your blog, prove that. And of course that you have no reply because you were wrong on the issue and can't admit that.

It's quick and easy to remove a link, harder and more TIME to respond in detail as these last two entries prove.

You have ignored my comments, and especially those QUESTIONS directed to you. You don't have to comment back to me, but then why should I waste my time with you?

I am not being dishonest or lying when I say that, and here is the proof:

Sat. 5/6
I asked if you had such distain for the ACLU defending child molesters - Then where is your distain for the judges that find in favor for these defendants? NO RESPONSE

Thurs. 5/4
I stated a case in court that the ACLU was defending. I asked you to check the ACLU site to verify.

Days later you responded about a totally different case, then made a different point about that case.

So NO response to my case and point, yet you changed the issue by citing your different case. DISHONEST

And days after you made all your false statements about the ACLU you finally said you went to their site and got a brush off.

You have to go beyond the home page to get the records of the cases.

Fri. 3/31
I asked "What programs would you like to get this money?" You responded "I'll tell you what programs-the American people."

This did not respond to the long list supplied, you avoided a response. Then you added "Thanks for the set up for a patriotic recoil!" DISHONEST

Same day separate comment:

I asked "Please show me any evidence that government funded art "offends most of the taxpayers in this country. (your statement)" or that "most of them oppose it wholeheartedly.(your statement)"

These statements are simply not true.
Your response: NONE

Same day different comment:

I asked again, "What is your response to my comment about your statements that I find false?"
Again your response: NONE

Wed. 3/29

You made a post about how you thought "All Muslims are part of the problem." I posted a long reply. In fact I was the only one who commented at all.
Your response: NONE

Fri. 3/24

I commented in detail, listing my sources, about your post on Harvey Mansfield and "Manliness."

Your reply: NONE

But you did give long replies to other comments on the same post.

I could go on, but I've spent enough time defending myself against your charge that I lied about you intentionally not replying to me, when asked.

As far as my time to reply to you, let me quote you:

4/4/06
"I am going to avoid responding tonight as I have pressing work that I must do first."

3/31/06
"Nice responses but I'm taking Sunday off." Many posted comments, including me, but you had no TIME.

3/21/06
"I don't have TIME to read these tonight but will get to them tomorrow."

I had a long comment on that post, yet that was your reply. Then later that same day you did reply 3 times to other comments on that post.

Let's add to all of this the many times on Andy's and Sam's blogs that they have taken you to task about your lack of research and knowledge on issues you spout about.

Then let's add to all of this your attitude towards your readers:

4/21
"I had an itch to write something inflammatory this week."

4/19
"What's the matter, does your brain hurt?"

4/17
"My favorite thing to say to irritate......"

This is plenty of reason to call you a dishonest blogger and not worthy of my time or others time to read.

So who's lying, LC ?
Sun May 21, 11:51:31 AM CDT

You have shown your true colors with this pathetic act Time. I wish you good health, but I am no longer interested in continuing our association.
Sun May 21, 07:11:35 PM CDT

Time said...
I think I made it clear that I wanted nothing more to do with you when I took you off my blog last week.

You accused me of lying, but you are the liar. That's why I cut off having anything to do with you.

Just like this response of yours, you change the issue with responding to my comments. You are a dishonest, liar. Please don't return, my readers don't need to read your lies.
Sun May 21, 07:57:50 PM CDT

Time said...
A little of your own treatment and you go crying off like a baby!

Isn't it true that readers have torn you apart on Andy's blog? Isn't it true that they wanted Andy to kick you off his blog? Like Andy, I let you say what you want on my blog. The readers catch on.

It's funny how you now claim to not want to have anything to do with me, a week after I stopped corresponding with you and deleted you from my link list.

Be adult. Answer the points with out changing the issue. You can't because you can't admit your wrong.
Sun May 21, 08:16:33 PM CDT

Time said...
You imply that on all those dates you excused yourself, that is not the case.

It was the case on a couple of those dates, but then you never did get back, like you said you would, you never responded.

It's not that Andy beats you intellectually, it's that he points out that you don't know what you are talking about and you don't research what you say.

That's different than winning an intellectual discussion. It's not immature, it's the facts.

You call yourself a student of the Constitution, yet they are always pointing out that a statement you made has nothing to do with the Constitution. You continue to make the same mistake, so what progress have you made?

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, is in the Decloration of Independence; not in the Constitution.

If you want a civil exchange you should not accuse me of misleading my readers by showing a picture of Vets marching against the war.

And then you say that there were only seven vets in the picture (like there are only seven Vets in America against the war) but I made it look like 100's of thousands.

Which of course my readers took you to task for being wrong and un-informed.


Did you ever check out the vets against the war site I referred you to?

You should because you seem to be unaware of the truth that Vets are against the war, by the 1,000's.

A civil discussion does not include calling me a liar (which you said first) or calling me an asshole (that kind of language I never used against you). So why would you expect a civil response from me?

Bad words are OK on my blog - if I used them on your blog you would have deleted them according to your rules.

I see no intellectual progress in your thinking even after your encounters with Andy. Just today he commented to one of his readers that he made a post before he left town just to see your response. You have become a subject of humor on that blog.

Face it, your an egotist. You think you are much better than you are.

Somewhere you learned to swith the subject instead of addressing the issue at hand. It is a common debate method, and a dishonest one.

If you have real intellectual courage you would address the issue no matter how bad it makes you look.

True disagreement based on facts, is fine. Twisting the facts or the issue is not. At least not with me. I see a lot of that on these blogs and I have no respect for it. So change my mind about you, and keep it honest.
Sun May 21, 10:14:58 PM CDT

little-cicero said...
I apologize for the language, but taking a joke out of context in that manner was absolutely despicable, and it didn't do anything for your image.

Your readers did effectively take me to task on that post- and I responded effectively.

On most of these discussions, I cannot say that I've won, but I can always say that I've made progress. I often go into a discussion on Andy's blog with no evidence- only theories, and they don't like those theories so they point out a lack of evidence, when in fact all they have is theories.

In that context, no one really knows what they're talking about. No one has Truth. We know what we know. I don't know what Constitutional dispute you are referring, but if you explain I'd love to respond.
Sun May 21, 10:40:47 PM CDT

little-cicero said...
By the way, to make things even, I invite you to leave a curse word (other than the F word) on my blog sans deletion whenever you wish. I usually don't delete them if they are relevant anyways.
Sun May 21, 10:42:23 PM CDT

Time said...
Come on! So taking a joke out of context is more despicable than taking my comments out of context when were talking about child molesters??? Making it look like I support child molesters!
Sun May 21, 11:02:47 PM CDT

little-cicero said...
I did not take you out of context maliciously, it was to address your point while throwing some publicity your way. This will be yet another blogging lesson that I've learned about quoting people.

I believe we got somewhere ultimately in that discussion: We can agree that the ACLU has the right to represent these people who we agree are scumbags, and we can agree to disagree on the moral judgments placed on the ACLU for defending NAMBLA.

I assure you, as well as Andy, Future Geek (both of which were also quoted) and all of my other readers know you from your well-appreciated contributions know you, it is doubtful that in the minds of those who read this you have been defamed as much as you think you have been.

I like to think that we merchants of ideas have grown close enough through good humor and discussion that we can say whatever we wish without anyone's opinions of another transcending mere disagreement. Mon May 22, 03:42:23 PM CDT

The Oracle said...
Whoa! Did LC just call someone an asshole?!?!
Mon May 22, 04:46:30 PM CDT

Time said...
That's OK, it's allowed on my blog.
Mon May 22, 05:36:18 PM CDT

These comments were taken from my blog and can be seen on my archive.

Yes, it is OK on my blog. So bring it on LC, KR, or anyone else. Call me a bigot for no reason. Call me an asshole, you can on my blog I don’t censor. In the words of our President (that LC finds so moral) “Bring it on !”

Andy said...

one of the other thirty percent of Americans who think so.

Um, LC? I think you're reading these polls wrong. It's 30% of Americans who DON'T think he's a moron.

Andy said...

Time: well, you have assembled an impressive indictment of Little Cicero here, but I think finally I need to step in and say, let's all just stop this for now, take a deep breath, and call a truce for the time being.

Little Cicero, as we well know, can be, shall we say, exasperating. To say the least.

But I am not really honored to have my blog used for an exchange of personal attacks, be they well founded or no.

Little Cicero is many things, but I don't think he's the malicious liar you make him out to be.

Time, I genuinely welcome your readership and your always insightful comments, but -- and this goes for everyone, I'm not singling you out -- let's not get in the habit of using this as a forum to badmouth each other. If you don't have anything to say relevant to the post I wrote, send them an email.

little-cicero said...

FG: Maybe you're right- I'm just old fashioned when it comes to gender roles, but I do believe, from what I know of male nature, that while males are not "the stronger sex" they are generally more agressive/calloused sexually as well as emotionally and psychologically.
I do believe that society has changed both men and women (nurture over nature) but my constant curiosity is to what extent nurture can overtake nature.

Time: That was a long comment. I don't really feel up to continuing this feud, so in deference to Andy's and my teacher's advice, I guess I'll just stop associating with you. We already went through that list of comments a month or two ago- you know how I feel and I know how you feel, so any continuation of this matter is purely political. You're trying to make me look bad, I'm trying to make you look bad- the fact is Andy's probably the only one reading any of this crap, so let's just say we're both asses and call it a day.

Andy: Okay

little-cicero said...

Dick Van Dyke Theme:

So you think that you've got trouble.
Well trouble's a bubble.
So tell old mister trouble to get lost.

Why not hold your head up high and
Stop cryin', start tryin'.
And don't forget to keep your fingers crossed.

When you find the joy of living
Is loving and giving,
You'll be there when the winning dice are tossed.

A smile is just a frown that's turned upside-down.
So smile and that frown'll get lost,
And don't forget to keep your fingers crossed.

Andy said...

the fact is Andy's probably the only one reading any of this crap

Nope, I stopped paying attention to this thread a long, long time ago.

little-cicero said...

Me too :)
I wish!

kr pdx said...

LC, for the record, there were plenty of girls who hit on Andy; I can personally vouch for myself and several other girls I knew. The guys here aren't lying when they say he's a very attractive guy not only is he smart and good looking, but he was clearly one of the better partner-dancers in gym class--no faster way to a woman's heart, for real true, than being able to really danc with her). He seems entirely immune to our "charms," but only he can truly know ;).

kr pdx said...

Everyone:

LC stated these chauvinist things during a developmental discussion sparked by an essentially feminist post I wrote and he posted over at his place. Noone here can possibly find it surprising that before LC could look at my broader social ideas he needed to get past the Feminism thing.

LC is actually very amenable to moving/mitigatig his positions if one can meet him where he is and show him a path that is reasonable to him. As I have an easier time understanding where he is than most folks here (I hope noone takes that as an insult; I am sure some think I have insulted myself ;) ), our exchanges at his blog are generally developmental rather than painfully dialectic. He was offering his (yes insular) beliefs specifically because he wanted to know what I could offer to change his thinking; he was not declaring his forever attitudes.

little-cicero said...

As I said, I would rather have kr in a discussion in which we disagree than have some other people in a discussion when we agree.

kr pdx said...

Time:

Alright, I did you the honor of reading through that entire thing.

1) If my opinion matters to you at all, I never assumed anyone quoted supported NAMBLA. You guys were arguing pro-ACLU, LC was (as I recall) posting your comments to see if they could hold up against his anti-ACLU opinion. Which even he admits, in your included text there, they did.

The automatic assumption, I would hope of the huge majority of people but at least by me, is that until proven otherwise, people are anti-NAMBLA. (I recognize that there is a significant percentage of the population that thinks gay = pedophilic. As if heterosexuals never rape children. Pff to them. Dehumanization = bad.)

2) You are in your provided text very enthusiastic in calling LC a variety of names that you clearly believe he has earned.

I called you bigotted after giving you some time to retract the biggoted assumptions reflected in your reaction to my comment (and presumably to my history on this and LC's blog; I am sorry I was not watching specifically our interactions and so didn't catch if I was causing you growing angst).

I am not seeing how I am the exclusive sinner on the name calling here, even if you don't think my argument above that you did everything except use the word itself in so many letters against me first holds water.

3) I clued in far too late to save our exchange here, but your long post confirms what I should have seen earlier and I have been trying to explain to LC via email. I took it to LC first because I knew he would at least give me a listen; I offer it here to you as well if you want it. It is based partly on a LONG and very determined argument LC and I had about the proper place of strictly intellectual reasoning in valuing human achievement.

My mother and a few of her friends were very into the Jungian-derivative Meyers-Briggs personality typology system while I was growing up, so I recently slogged through "Gifts Differing" by Isabell Meyers-Briggs. If you are at all interested but need to hear the following from not my mouth, that's a good book--by someone who was dead before we started this ;).

LC (over!-)values straight up intellectual reasoning, yes often without necessary reference outside of his head, and devalues emotional logic and detail-oriented discussion. He is, in the MB system, a classic Intuitive-Thinker, uncomfortable with Sensate or Feeling input. He is probably especially exaggerated because American society values intuition over sensateness (concreteness) and thinking logic over feeling logic, and so has not experienced significant cultural challenge to his natural preferences.

Myself, I am dominant Feeling-logic, but because of various things growing up, developed a very strong Thinking-logic crossover. I was irritated because LC was implying that thinking reason is the best/only way to "ture" wisdom: a common assumption made even by a lot of feeling-type people because of the messages we receive in school etc. .

Looking at the insults you each actually threw and actually perceived receiving (which are not at all the same lists), you guys show the same split, horribly exaggerated.

And both of you think the other never answers questions, and that the other is ridiculous to accuse you of that same offense, because--looking from out here--I suspect you both perceive the other's actual questions to be rhetorical: not really relevant ... not deserving of even remembering, much less answering. And so you both deny, each honestly to your perception, that you don't think you have committed the offense, and have (of course!) gotten increasingly offended at both the other's perceived stupidity and at the other's unfair, unbased judegment of your actual words and actions.

I can't even begin to parse how this difference affects how you each interpret words and phrases. (LC and I often have a long hammering-out-the-language exchange before we can talk about the issues.) But clearly you are both speaking English, and more or less making sense, because some others can make sense of both of you.

4) LC is young; your accusations of immaturity are correct (although at 18, he's doing pretty well, Ohian suburb considered ;) ). LC is doing his darndest to try to figure out how the rest of the world thinks. But he started very very far away from you; I think he just doesn't have anough background/experience to bridge to you intellectually/personality-wise yet.

Myself, I think he should just stop trying for a while. (LC, I am not knocking you; it will be noted here that I chose Andy's blog as a good place for me: I had enough common ground to grasp Andy's arguments, but they would challenge also me.)

kr pdx said...

LC, you are not helping me right now.

You have admitted you are angry. Potentially wiser to step out.

kr pdx said...

LC, second thought, this one based on Time's huge entry instead of your comment:

You might save yourself (and other people) some unnecessary angst if you consciously choose to state that you are thinking about [some specific idea] instead of leaving dead air, and then actually telling folks straight out more often if you haven't reached a conclusion. People need to hear that you've really heard them even if you don't have anything more substantive to say. "Time, I see your point about [x], and I disagree, but I don't know how to explain my disagreement yet. I'll keep your views in mind, thanks," might have saved a few of those "you don't answer me"s. You do this fairly consistently as a matter of closure on your own blog. Do you do it elsewhere, or do you just disappear? (That IS a rhetorical question. This is a rhetorical comment, actually. I post it here in deference to Time, who has a right to see it. If you want to argue or respond, take me up on email.)

kr pdx said...

Geez, MY grasp of the language has clearly loosened. The most egregious goof: "true" wisdom, not "ture" wisdom.

Sorry. Tired.

little-cicero said...

Here are the five lessons I took away from that NAMBLA based fiasco:

1) Never attribute quotes that are taken out of context unless if it is your intention to depict that person a certain way. I had no problem with Time personally, I had a problem with what he said. He then took my jokes out of context, which particularly infuriated me- the rest is in writing.

2) That I personally take for granted that someone doesn't believe something is not enough- I must clearly state as such. To this day I don't believe that Time condones pedophilia, I accused him of moral relativism, not morally condoning anything.

3) Do not blog under the influence of anger.

4) Confirm relavence of a post before ranting.

5) When you end an association with someone, don't continue the association one week later. I was pretty darn close to relinking to Time and reassociating with him because I am so bad at holding a grudge.

little-cicero said...

Oh, by the way kr, I do agree that I ought to adopt the tactic of stating my comprehension of people's points, and I have thought for some time about that, I simply forget to do so in the heat of intellectual enthusiasm. I can't recall Socrates saying "Well Glaucon, I understand your point, and I will keep it in mind, I appreciate your contribution".

You see, I take for granted all too often that my commenters are from some School of Athens where tempers do not flair and exchanges are cool and collective- as if everyone is some sort of intellectual god- but that is not the case- myself included.

little-cicero said...

Good to see this thread dead an buried! Andy was entirely wise to avoid it.