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The Big Picture

'Have you ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates? Morons.' -- Vizzini from "The Princess Bride"

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Genius of Talking Out One's Ass

Literally talking out one's ass requires a genius most of us mere mortals do not possess. That is controlling one's sphincter to "shape" the flow of air past the spincter into reconizable sounds, more commonly known as "words." Learning that talent can only be called genius. (Yet we see so many on the right who have perfected the art of talking out your ass, maybe the genius of it is today greatly diminished... If people like Malkin, Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Hannity, Townhall.com, The Corner, LGF, Powerline, etc. can do it, then it can't be all that intellectual.)

But there is one unique form of talking out your ass that dominates. I see that you're way ahead of me here; yes its Christianity. The concept of Christianity is based on the principle of talking out your ass. So here we move from the literal (which requires genius) to the metaphorical (which requires nothing more than the ability to string a couple of words together into some meaningless sentences).

So here's the meat; the reason for writing this post:

Over at RaptureReady, Jack Kelley has an article up which defies all logic, and, coincidentally steps into an area in which I have spent years studying: the logic and structure of the New Testament. (For the record, I am not one of the emailers he discusses.)

The general thrust of his post is that there appears to be a disconnect between the gospels of Paul and the Jerusalem Apostles. (I wrote my book on this very subject.) But what interests me about his article is not that we have different interpretations of the texts of the Bible, but that he fails to see the glaring disconnect in what he does write. I will not critique his entire article, for I have already done that in my book, as his arguments are nothing new. He even admits as much.

So let us examine two excerpts and consider what they really are saying in terms of the value of Christianity as a "path to heaven."


Was the doctrine of Grace unknown in Old Testament times? Over 1000 years before Paul began preaching, King David had this to say after sinning with

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. (Psalm 51:1-2 & 16-17)

See how David makes no attempt to restore himself to righteousness through his own works. According to the Law both he and Bathsheba should have immediately been put to death. David humbled himself before God, confessed his sin, asked to be forgiven, and was. (2 Samuel 12:13)

So from this passage we see how Jack is arguing that a person can get into God's good graces by being repentent before God Almighty. Now if being forgiven by God is a good thing, and can be done by human piousness, then what does the Christian have to say about the status of David's eternal soul? Is David in heaven for being "right" with God?

I don't know. But let's see what Jack has to say about Jesus:

When the people asked Jesus, “What must we do to do the work that God requires?” they gave Him the clearest opportunity of His ministry to hand them a list. Here He was, a Jewish rabbi, standing in Israel speaking primarily to Jewish people who wanted to know what God required of them. He could have referred them to the 10 Commandments, or the Sermon on the Mount, or the 613 laws of the Torah. But how did He respond? “The work of God is this: to believe in the One He has sent.” (John 6:28-29)

Then He said that it was God's will that everyone who looked to the Son and believed in Him would have Eternal life. (John 6:40) Their salvation was based on their belief that He had come to save them, not on their behavior. Just like ours.

Much of His teaching from the Sermon on the Mount had been aimed at convincing them that they could never attain the necessary righteousness by keeping the Law. He even commanded them to “be perfect, just as your Father in Heaven is perfect.” (Matt. 5:48) This can only be achieved when God's righteousness is imputed to us by faith. Those who advocate the different Gospel hypothesis would have us mix some combination of grace, faith, and works to arrive at the Jewish formula for perfection. But it can't be done. Grace is defined as an unmerited favor. As soon as you add work, it's no longer unmerited. The two don't mix.

He is correct, the two don't mix. How can one be a good person before Jesus by being repentent and getting into God's good graces (and therefore presumably getting into Heaven -- unless David is in Hell for being born before Jesus...) and then suddenly after Jesus, the only way into heaven is by believing that the man, Jesus, is God?

Given the two differing systems of entry into heaven (if I were a religious person), it certainly seems like the moral high road would be to be a good person, follow the rules and when they are broken, be repentant. The second almost seems like a cop-out in comparison: believe in the man-god and ignore the rules, yet still gain entry into heaven.

Of course, that isn't true either. Jesus and by extension, Christianity, still require a strict adherence to rules, only they seem to be new rules. Now the only things that Christians are concerned about is homosexuality, abortion, and the evils of science. So a gay believer in Jesus would still not gain entry into heaven, according to many Christians. Rules still matter.

This is the fatal flaw in Christian theology. Somehow, before Jesus, Jews were able to gain entry into heaven via their actions: repentence and good deeds aimed at the glory of God. But after Jesus, the rules changed. That was no longer enough; belief in Jesus as God was the primary (only) way to gain entry into heaven. The rules changed in mid-stream. And this rule change was due to a God-head who does not change, and whose rules are never changing (ala the whole silly concept of "traditional marriage.") But then, even Jesus has rules. Paul has even more rules.

Jack gives this simple statement regarding rules:
I can't tell you how many times folks who believe differently than I do have advised me to just read the Bible carefully and I'll embrace their position, but that's another story.

Sorry, Jack, but a careful reading of the bible is not necessary here. Only a casual reading will expose the reality of the bible. It may be another story from the one you present here. But it is the story. Either rules matter or they don't. If they matter, then anyone who follows them is good. If they don't then only in believing in Jesus matters. Considering the sheer animosity towards homosexuality of most fundamentalist Christians, I would have to say rules matter. If rules matter, then Jesus is not relevant.

...And Jack Kelley is talking out his ass.

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Friday, October 19, 2007

Pity Us Poor Atheists.. So Says Baylor U. Prof

Brent Rasmussen over at Unscrewing the Inscrutable has a post up that I found interesting. Brent takes a look at this article written by Dr. Roger Olson for their University newspaper. His reaction is certainly worth reading. I thought I'd take a look at the original article written and make some additional comments based on a different approach.

Dr. Olsen opens his article with this:
I feel sorry for atheists. They are so much in the minority in American society and they are bound to feel some marginalization if not persecution.

Do not feel sorry for us. We have broken through all the silliness that is religion and found the actual source of happiness, living our lives in truth, rationality, and free from ancient superstitions created to explain the observable natural phenomena around them. As for the marginalization and persecution stuff, we are only marginalized by Christians and Muslims who want to force us into their religious views.

Persecution is a different matter. I seriously doubt that any of today's atheists have been burned at the stake or "thrown to the lions" There is no persecution of atheists. Persecution is uniquely religious, either Christians being persecuted, Jews being persecuted by Christians or Moslims persecuting other Moslims. Of course, there is also the persecution of Buddhists and Hindus as well. Atheists are typically not persecuted, we are converted..

The good doc then goes on to express this cesspool of untruth:

We have to recognize atheists' full freedom to believe God does not exist, but we don't have to embrace atheism as a social good. In fact, I would argue that atheism has no redeeming social value.

Atheism undermines values. How? Let's look at care for others. Yes, an individual atheist might care for other people. But when have you heard of an entire atheist organization serving the poor, the sick or the hungry?

So far, at least, atheists haven't demonstrated their concern for others in any organized way.

Just out of curiosity, who supported SCHIP and who blasted it out of the water? I believe liberals (which most atheists are considered) wanted, fought for, and supported providing health care for our children. It was the non-liberals who shot that program down. How's denying health care for children proof that Christians care for others? Atheist organizations provide all sorts of care for others. For example atheists are members of groups that feed the poor. Atheists are members of groups that attempt to stamp out war and genocide. Surely a living person is better than a dead one? But Dr. Olsen begs to differ.

Dr. Olsen clearly does not understand what atheism is. He seems to think it is a united front or collective beliefs and thus should as a front all support specific goals. This is entirely wrong. Atheism is the lack of beliefs in anything specific. (except that there is no God). Christopher Hitchens is the perfect example of this. His personal views are entirely the opposite of what many atheists believe. This is of course also true of Christianity, but that fact seems to have escaped Olsen entirely.

Dr. Olsen then goes on to answer his own question with something resembling the truth, but which he fails to grasp the importance of:
But more importantly, atheism undermines values such as care for others because it cannot explain why anyone should care for others. If there is no God or anything at all above nature, then nature is all there is. The law of nature is survival of the fittest. Why help the less fit survive unless there is a God who loves them because they are created in his image?

He answers with the correct answer, but does not understand its importance. Nature is "all there is." Nature is our guide. And "survival of the fittest" is one of (certainly not the primary one) the laws that guides biological nature. What he fails to see is that caring, or more precisely, the need to protect the group, is a very powerful survival tool. Imagine a bunch of individuals independantly protecting themselves from a pack of wild animals. They would get eaten one at a time because each, as an individual, is not strong or fast enough to defend themselves. But working together as a group, they can. This leads to many "higher functions": complex communication, the need to protect the community so that the community can protect you, and a rigid set of laws that provide fairness to all so that the community can function as both a group and a set of individuals. Nature provides for all of this, atheists accept that. Dr. Olsen cannot. He only thinks that can come about by some mythical sky god telling us what we can and cannot do. For the record, I cover all this in much more detail in a series of posts on morality here, here, and here.

He continues with some other comments:

And atheism has no answer to social Darwinism -- the idea that society should not help the weak because it's nature's way to weed out the less fit.

Helping the weak goes against nature and if nature is all there is, well, why should we fight it? A person might choose to, but not because of any transcendent, objective obligation (such as that all persons are created in God's image).

Obviously, that is a flawed statement. Helping the weak actually can provide many advantages. Once language has been developed, the weak (let's assume they're the elderly for example) can actually be a great source of knowledge in spite of the fact that they can do nothing physically to help their community. The elders are the sources of experience and wisdom. Thus, they may be weak, but they have great value. And the value has nothing to do with any transcendent god.

Next comes the whole argument about "meaning".. How can atheists have any meaning in life without a god? Dr. Olsen writes:
But most atheists demonstrate their basic trust in the meaningfulness of reality by being outraged at evil and injustice, thereby demonstrating that atheism cannot be lived out consistently.
What has consistency to do with anything? Christopher Hitchens proves that atheism is anything but consistent. He is all about killing people and torture just like all the Christians who support the war in Iraq and the the more esoteric war on terrorism (Islam). Atheists can be deceived into thinking that evil things are good just like the masses of fundamentalist Christians who support killing and torture. If Christians can think evil things are good as well as can atheists, then what point is Dr. Olsen really making here?? I think he can -- at best -- say that atheists are just as human and mistake-prone as Christians. But then again, where is the surprise there?

Finally, he writes:

Baylor and universities like it exist to promote objective values and meaningful existence.

For them atheism is not benign, but the enemy -- even if atheists themselves are not.

Finally, let me repeat that I have nothing against atheists as persons and neither does Baylor University.

But in my opinion, they are people of character and virtue in spite of their philosophy of life -- not because of it.

Again, why is it that only religions can have objective values? Isn't preservation of the species an objective value? Aren't happiness and progeny objective values?

I can only conclude that religious people like Dr. Olsen are people of character and (sometimes) virtue in spite of their religion, Christianity, not because of it. I guess we have something in common after all.

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Ron Paul, Libertarianism, and the Christian Right

Ed Brayton has written an insightful post at his blog, Dispatches from the Culture Wars regarding Ron Paul. One group he did not mention, and one I have written about occasionally before is Christian Exodus. They are supporting Ron Paul.

First let us see a glimpse of what CE's president officially says about politics and the upcoming presidential election:
OK, that's enough ranting for now. I'll end this column on a positive note. Praise God that Congressmen Ron Paul and Tom Tancredo will be in tonight's debate. I encourage every one of you to contact your family and friends and watch [the thurs. May 3, 2007 Rep debate -- jeffperado] in the hope that some truth from these statesmen might squeeze into the debate between the load of manure from Romney and the brainless ramblings of Giuliani. You can watch the debate on MSNBC or online at http://www.politico.com/ at 8:00pm Eastern. [my emphasis]

So we see here that there are two Republican candidates appealing to CE, Tancredo and Paul. In the paragraph immediately proceeding this, we get this jewel:
I provide the above rant to once again demonstrate that Christian Constitutionalists (paleo-conservatives) in America live among a very apathetic, ignorant and stupid people incapable of any more complex political thought than "strengthen America." Therefore, because the American people are the problem the only solution at our disposal is to change the makeup of the electorate, and hence Christian Exodus to the rescue. [my emphasis]
So, the American people are the problem, the American people are the reason why America is so ungodly. (Well, to be perfectly trite here, I have to agree, America did vote for and allow Bush and other Republican cronies to come into office -- they are to blame for that...) But what really strikes me here is that this guy is blaming the majority of Americans for not agreeing with him. It's their fault that his views are not the controlling views of this country. So much for Americans having independent thought. Maybe he should focus on his own statement and ponder why it is Americans think he is wrong. I am thinking that most Americans simply think he is wrong and want something else for America. But that is just me.

Let's tie these two things together. CE likes Paul and Tancredo, and America's views are divergent with CE's views. Paul and Tancredo seem to be agreeable with CE's views and disagreeable with America's views. All I can make of this is that what they really want to turn America into a land where one (and only one -- extreme Christianianity) minority rules all. That means all other Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and us atheists have no input into our government and how we are allowed to run our lives.

My view is that libertarianism is about being allowed to live our own lives and have government protect that right. That aspect of libertarianism appeals to me, I have to say. But the other aspect of it, that we are all left out to twist in the wind, with no universal source of help in terms of food or health or protection of our rights from the tyranny of others who disagree with that. Protecting individuals from the potential for huge profits by corporations at the expense of safety is another anti-libertarian goal that appeals to me. Thus there is a balance between all these things. Collectively protecting entire classes of people from the desires of others is indeniably a good thing. Giving everyone the freedom to run their own lives is another. The balance of the two is what made this country great, and will return it to greatness once the desires of Libertarians like Paul and the goals of groups like CE are seen to be what they really are: and that is antithetical to all of the above.

This is to say nothing of the other truly scary views of CE; creationism, biblical law, secularism denial for its citizens, and making Jesus central to government. Roam around the CE website, make notes as to their plan for the elections in 2008. Also please go see what happened during the 2006 elections which I elaborated on here.

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Friday, October 12, 2007

AiG Goes Mental

Answers in Genesis has to be the best resource for atheists everywhere in showing just why Christianity is nonsensical claptrap. Read this article they present attempting to refute atheism. It couldn't be a better propaganda piece for atheism if it had been written by the Freedom from Religion Foundation as a caracature piece. It is circular reasoning (and therefore not reasoning at all) at its best. Even a devout Christian who reads this would have to say that if their belief system were based on this argument, then they would have to reject it. Let's take a look at it:

Many atheists believe that their worldview is rational—and scientific. However, by embracing materialism, the atheist has destroyed the possibility of knowledge, as well as science and technology. In other words, if atheism were true, it would be impossible to prove anything!

Here’s why:
Reasoning involves using the laws of logic. These include the law of non-contradiction which says that you can’t have A and not-A at the same time and in the same relationship. For example, the statement “My car is in the parking lot, and it is not the case that my car is in the parking lot” is necessarily false by the law of non-contradiction. Any rational person would accept this law. But why is this law true? Why should there be a law of non-contradiction, or for that matter, any laws of reasoning? The Christian can answer this question. For the Christian there is an absolute standard for reasoning; we are to pattern our thoughts after God’s. The laws of logic are a reflection of the way
God thinks. The law of non-contradiction is not simply one person’s opinion of how we ought to think, rather it stems from God’s self-consistent nature. God cannot deny Himself ( 2 Timothy 2:13), and so, the way God upholds the universe will necessarily be non-contradictory. [Links are from the original article]

For an article that is trying to show all logic comes only from God, they sure violate many laws of logic. Let us work at this backwards. Here we are introduced to their basic premise: God is the source of logic, denying God denies logic therefore no atheist can use logic without proving God. Genius!! The small problem with this, is of course it follows no law of logic at all. The two things are independent. The existence/non-existence of God is one issue, the existence of logic is another. The two are independent. AiG tries to make them interdependent. In the above quote we see that clearly. Logic exists and is known to all. Christians know God exists and is the source of all. Therefore, according to them, logic must come from God. It would be like me saying People exist, and chickens exist. Thus since we have fried chicken, then humans must have made chickens. Fried chicken is the product of humans, as is domesticating chickens. But chickens themselves are not. The two are related but not independent.

Likewise, it is true that many people believe in God. But that does make God real. People use logic to ascertain the existence of God. But that is not relevant. People possess the ability to determine and use the rules of logic. So just because all those things are true, does not mean that the obvious and only conclusion is that God created logic. All it means is that logic created God. Because all we have is that humans created God, and humans possess logic. Any other conclusion is flawed and not based on those very rules of logic they claim to prove God.

But it only gets better:

Laws of logic are God’s standard for thinking. Since God is an unchanging, sovereign, immaterial Being, the laws of logic are abstract, universal, invariant entities. In other words, they are not made of matter—they apply everywhere and at all times. Laws of logic are contingent upon God’s unchanging nature. And they are necessary for logical reasoning. Thus, rational reasoning would be impossible without the biblical God.

Here we slip into two more logical fallicies. First the change from some abstract god to the "biblical God." I mean we all knew it was coming, but what is the logical foundation of it? Going from the idea of some all-powerful creative being to the God of the Bible is certainly a leap. Why are they one and the same? Couldn't it just as easily be some other god who created the laws of logic? That is the first mistake in this quote. It is probably the worst, but also the most forgivable, as the biblical God is the only God those at AiG are interested in, so we knew that that would be the "obvious" solution.. Second is the "nature" or concept of the laws of logic. They are unchanging. But does that have anything to do with the bible's depiction of God as unchanging? What if the Bible says that God does change? If God does change, then by those very same laws of logic, then the unchanging laws of logic cannot possibly come from God.

So let us turn to the Bible and see if God changes: Exodus 32:14, "And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people." So God changed his mind. His thought process was reversed according to this passage. Then by the "logic" of the AiG, the laws of logic can also be reversed as well. If logic only comes from the mind of God.

[Update:] Exodus 32:14 (KJV) should be directly compared to the AiG's citation of 2 Timothy 2:13. (Note: the NKJV of the exodus quote is equally as revealing, as it uses the word "relented" instead of "repented"; and relenting is more clearly showing of the "changing of God's mind") Thus we have even more proof that the AiG argument is flawed, if God changes, then how can his laws be unequivically called unchanging.. according to the bible no less.

Here is a shocker: Scientists, logicians, mathematicians, rationalists, freethought itself, all agree that logic is based on unchanging rules. So here we have our basic problem. According to the AiG, the "biblical God" is the source of logic, using the human idea that God is unchanging, yet the bible states that its God is changing. So the god of the bible cannot be the source of logic as presented by the logic of the AiG. Maybe some other god can, but not the God of the Bible. I just wonder if those at the AiG will now abandon their "biblical God" now that it is proven that HE cannot be the source of logic, based upon their very own views on the laws of logic.

If you want more fun, continue reading the AiG article. It is certainly good for a laugh and an excercise in logical fallacies.

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

SCHIP and "Family Values"

At first glance any reasonable person would think the two are synomynous.. After all caring for and protecting children is the very basis of "Family values," isn't it?

No. We find out. All conservatives and fundamentalist Christians really mean by family values is that gays and abortions are not allowed. Everything else is not considered. Multiple marriages? OK. Wife beating? That woman deserved it. Sick Kids? Sorry, you should make more money; your failure to do so means death or severe pain to your children.

The party of "family values" has decided that making our very own children healthy and safe is not a True family value. Because a True family value is making money and paying for it yourself. Consider how the conservatives/republicans think on this:

Writing into the federal budget (which is the sum of our taxes) protecting children from sickness, disease and tragedy via paying for their medical expenses is bad: Republicans don't think we should be forced via taxes to pay for the health of children. Whereas they profess that charity; the free giving of money to churches is the only proper method for helping children. So what they are saying is that only those who are wealthy enough to give of themselves should be the ones who "donate" to charity to help all those poor unfortunate children. According to President Bush, lowering taxes puts money into the pockets of families who need it. But whose taxes are lowered? BINGO! the taxes of those who have the most money. So are they now turning around and donating more money to charity to help others? Sorry, the answer is no. But there are those who do: Ted Turner, Bill Gates, George Soros, etc. The funny thing being they are all liberal Democrats. Conservative Republicans who benefitted from tax cuts are not doing anything to protect our very own children. It is solely the field of the liberal Democrats. Have you heard about Ann Coulter donating a percentage of the proceeds of her new book to providing health care to the poor children? Neither have I.

So what we have is that everyone paying taxes to help make children healthier is bad, but allowing wealthy liberals to pay for children's health is acceptable (as long as it is voluntary). That way conservatives can spend their wealth demonizing liberals for making children healthy.

Family values are an anachronism to conservatives and fundamentalist Christians. They have nothing to do with protecting or strenghtening actual families. They only have to do with eliminating abortions and ostracising gays. Divorces, single parents, all that is irrelevant. If you are a single parent then you deserve to have to work twice as hard and find a third job to pay for health insurance. There is no value at all in conservative family values except for destroying gays and abortion. All else is expected to be provided either by the family itself of through the charity of wealthy liberals.

Wealthy conservatives are expected to provide "charity" to perpetrating the standard line: Only those who don't need or require any help, be it medical or food are deserving of charity: and that charity is making them more Christian. It is up to the liberals to be the ones to give them medical help and food.

Family values are a funny thing; making families stronger and healthier is not a "value" but demonizing gays and eliminating abortion is a value. Go figure.

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Friday, October 05, 2007

The Best Line Evah!

I hate to simply cut and paste... But this has to be:
Besides, if Hillary Clinton becomes president she'll sign an Executive Order forcing K-Lo to marry a lesbian, get impregnated by Bill, and then they'll abort the baby on a podcast which Ann Althouse will drunkblog.

All glory goes to TBogg.


ENDA and the Conservative Christians

It seems that just about every conservative Christian group has come out against the Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA). The reason is simple, it gives gays the same protections everyone else already enjoys; Christians, race, gender, etc. This "special right" already granted to Christians is to be denied to gays at any cost.

Here is the funny part though. If they push for its defeat and it goes down (let's say because of a veto by Bush) the reason will have to be the "special rights" canard. What I want to know is if they will then finish the job and remove those very same rights from the groups that already have them, like say Christians?

The thing that amazes me is this is just one more piece of the puzzle that makes up the Religious Right. We just recently saw that they hate children -- or more precisely -- they hate children to be healthy (Bush just vetoed SCHIP). So I am left wondering, what do they really want this country to look like? For it is becoming more apparent that it is to be made up of only rich white Christians with a small underclass of sickly brown people (here legally) to tend the fields and do all the dirty work...

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

13 Months

We are exactly 13 months away from the general elections which will determine our next president, senators and congresspersons. It need not be said how I feel about those elections, I want Dems in, Reps out. But this is not a political blog, it is a blog of principles. So I will refrain from the political. I want to stress the values, the important issues, which make this great country strong. Clearly I believe that democrats are the true harbinger of those values. But that is, again, not the point. It is, after all, the values themselves which are important. For a briefest of explanations, I will simply state that Constitutional values and the values found in the Bill of Rights are what is important. (For the record, I even support the rights of the second amendment, the right to bear arms, but I think that with any right granted, it requires certain limits.)

So here we are a mere 13 months away from turning our great country back unto the right path (dare I say the "righteous path"?). And where are we?

We have an economic problem resulting from the "ownership society" philosophy of Bush and others. We have a major problem of "Bushism" in that we are embroiled in an untenable war in Iraq, and those supporters want to broaden it to include Iran. We have a values problem in that common Americans want liberty, but also want safety from terrorism. (I believe personally, that by maximizing liberty, we minimize terrorist acts against this country -- I merely offer this piece of wisdom: "By offering all groups in this country equal protection under the law, then outside groups cannot fault/hate us for belittliing/"demonizing" their groups.")

Who, in this country really offers this? The Republicans want to demonize so many groups that they almost cannot be counted; brown people, black people, red people, atheists, jews, hindus, buddhists, gays, "liberals", "foreigners", the poor, the sick, the elderly, the French, anyone deserving of Constitutional protections. They even mix up their protected groups at times; its ok for a Christian to own highly explosive weapons (even if they make threats towards other Americans) but it is imperative that brown "foreigners" who are legal citizens, cannot own those same weapons, because they might attend a Muslim mosque. They afford First Amendment rights to Christians, but deny them to Hindus or Buddhists (Christians can pray before our Congress, but they cannot).

Selectivity seems to be the hallmark of Republicans. Further evidence is the Craig/Vittner shakeup. It seems to be ok to search for sex outside marriage if it is with a member of the opposite sex, but it is completely wrong if it is gay sex.

Americans are fastly approaching the time when a real decision needs to be made. What do we want to be self-identified as? Do we want to be a country of liberty and freedom or the country of torture and world domination? Liberty and freedom requires, at a minimum, that all are granted those rights, not just Americans.

I do have good news though, the power of the religious right on the one hand, and the power of the industrial complex on the other, have both grown so enormous that they are now at loggerheads within the one party that embraces them both -- The Republican Party. Now the power of lower taxes and deregulation is butting up against the power of regulating people and the revenue necessary to do that. The Republicans are splitting apart now. James Dobson is railing against the leading candidates, yet the business establishment is rallying around those very same candidates.

All we really need to do at this point is not screw up. Stick to message, attack their weak points and we win. Here's the beauty of that. When we win, everyone wins. Liberty and freedom come back to this country en force.

I think America is starting to realize that.

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