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March 19, 2008

Comments

Lulu Maude

Eeeek. Out-Republicaning the Republicans.

Thanks for this post.

dtjb

Please - this is not helping Obama. This article smacks of unfounded rumor and gossip, and is more fit for a smear tabloid than an intelligent discussion on politics.

ann

I agree with dtjb. Very disappointed in this article.

lin

Barbara, what on earth has happened to you? You are publishing garbage and I am not alone in thinking this. See above posts about publishing unfounded rumor more fit for a tabloid. Your hatred of Hillary seems pathological.

Ponyboy

Christian Radicals....the same as Islamic Radicals.

Our God is bigger than your God...blah blah blah..

Jesus was a man of peace; and he was murdered.

Nothing has changed.

boohall

Barbara, you are joking aren't you. Good one, I'm still laughing.

gaby

I wish the entire campaign were religionfree. All this sudden devoutness is all phony baloney. If there is anything that the religious right taught us is that claiming to be religious and going to church on Sunday does not mean anything, it has no bearing on character and morality. Just too many of those "god-fearing" and "righteous" politicians are caught with their pants down and involved in various financial scandals.

Barbara E

This was not a premeditated hit on Hillary, nor is it gossip or a joke. I happened to have been reading a manuscript of Jeff Sharlet's book, The Family, because he sent it to me for a blurb. Late last week, when the business about Obama's pastor broke out, I had just gotten to Sharlet's section on Hillary's involvement with the Family. Already creeped out by Sharlet's account of the Family, I decided I had to blog about this.

Anarcissie

I don't see the "unfounded rumor" in the article. It is true parts of the article are speculative, as they must be if we cannot read minds, but she and the other people mentioned actually belong to this organization, do they not?

In any case I do not see her membership as doing her much harm. White Americans are afraid of the otherness and possibly the anger or resentment of non-Whites, which is what the Obama flap has been all about, but they seem relaxed about Evangelical and fundamentalist religious froth even if they don't like it or its practitioners very much.

The people who have their hair up about Clinton's drive for power and domination seem to be mostly rightists who would never vote for her anyway.

Clinton has been quiet during the controversy about Obama's former pastor because it's already working to her advantage -- Blackifying Obama -- and no further help is needed at this time.

lbriggs

This is not a weird conspiracy theory. The basic outlines of this story are well-documented, and well-known (especially to historians of Central America).

Anticommunist evangelicals did indeed solidify power internationally through religious circles linked to Billy Graham--who has advised presidents from Nixon to Clinton to Bush. According to journalist and media critic Ben Badikian, it was William Randolph Hearst and Henry Luce who “made” Billy Graham, plunging him into the limelight through their news empires because they liked his anticommunism; Luce put him on the cover of Time in 1954. Regardless, his was a message that fit the tenor of the times, linking the threat of "Godless Communism"--and the need for a strong U.S. response--to a belief in the literal truth of the Bible, and the need for a religious revival in the country at large in circles of political power in general.

Evangelicals were and are committed internationalists, and built their religious networks along anti-Communist lines. Most famously, Efrain Rios Montt, the author of the genocide of indigenous people in Guatemala in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, was an evangelical pastor (and army general) with strong links to Reagan's evangelical base in the United States.

Those who want to "get religion out of politics" are going to miss a lot that's going on.

Mitchell Freedman

As someone hoping for Gore to be drafted at the convention after neither Hillary nor Obama get enough votes to win on the first ballot, I see no problem with Barbara E's post.

The sad truth, however, is that this will not hurt Hillary the way Rev Wright's comments hurt Obama. And that's because Rev Wright was speaking about things that elite corporate media people don't want to hear or agree with--and there is no powerful constituency for Rev Wright's views, either.

The Family has powerful supporters, and the elite corporate media are afraid of those supporters, and the views expressed are not considered as outside the pale as the comments of Rev Wright were and re considered.

McCain still gets friendly elite corporate media coverage, and has skated by his endorsement of Rev Hagee plus his own ignorance of foreign affairs. Hopefully, if it is Obama or Hillary, they can squeeze by and win. I'd rather give Gore a chance for a 90 days sprint, though...

Dawn

I saw one main source for this story and not alot of strong documentation leaving it sounding a bit like 'hear-say.' I am surprised at the one-sided reporting on this. That alone makes it suspect and I'm wondering why Barbara didn't do her own homework of primary sources on this instead of depending on one guy who was in a men's home for a few days/weeks. I don't think that gives a very clear picture of the whole organization.

I can see, after reading this, why we need laws to govern our rights to religious freedom. Otherwise everyone would be dictating what we should believe and who we should believe it with.

Facist-leaning? Oh my. You really think Hillary supports a "governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism."

And you think that because she goes to a fundamentalist church?

Dawn

Anarcissie

It seems to me that the basic idea of fascism is that a society is properly led and governed by a self-selected elite. That also seems to be the philosophy of The Family, as well as of people of many other ideological colorations, even the classical liberalism of Jefferson with his "natural aristocracy". The original fascists (Mussolini and company) simply purified the idea by getting rid of the constitutional baggage of liberalism and classical conservatism. They thought _they_ were the true progressives. I don't know to what extent The Family and Clinton go in for this sort of thing; I guess I would call them rightists rather than fascists, since while they are certainly authoritarian I don't see them going all the way to support of overt dictatorship.

She declawed her cat, though.


Chickensh*tEagle

Barbara: "The Family’s most visible activity is its blandly innocuous National Prayer Breakfast, held every February in Washington."

The Inner Circle's weekly praise dinner is the real attraction. But it's only for the elite inner circle, the Keepers of the Grail. (Yes, the Holy Grail really is in their keeping. In your face, Dan Brown!)

Every Friday night, the invited guests stand at their tables in the refectory while a full operatic chorus and orchestra (augmented by a pipe organ greater than the one in the National Cathedral) perform the chorus from the first act of Parsifal -- culminating in a thunderously triumphal ending instead of trailing off into doubt as in Wagner's original version. This time, the Grail will emerge and rule the earth!

Or so I imagine it. :-)

Disco

If I may add to the political discourse, Hillary Clinton is really David Bowie.

Buena

Brilliant blog, Barbara. While others have commented here that there's a lot of tolerance for groups like The Family, Hillary's association with them is still shocking and distasteful to many of us.

Carol Novack

When I received this article via Mark Crispin's newsletter, I knew immediately that it had been publicized by an Obama supporter. As others have observed, the shocking allegations are unfounded. So some guy wants to get rich and famous by writing an expose, which may or may not contain fanciful slurs calculated to hurt HRC's chances of winning the nomination. HRC the Nazi fascist? HRC at fault for changing her name? Do men change their names? I imagine that it's not easy to figure out what to call yourself when you have political ambitions of your own and don't want to be equated with your husband, ex President Clinton. The article reeks of misogyny and vicious allegations.

I'm not a fan of Hillary's and I've read too much about Obama to consider him a progressive. His mentor was Lieberman, in case you didn't know. Not to mention his corporate ties.

The Republicans lap up rumors like this. If Obama supporters continue to tarnish HRC and Clinton supporters continue to tarnish BO, the Republicans will get their war mongering candidate elected. Articles like this are helping Mc Cain.

Yeah, I wish Gore would take the reins. At least, we know that he worships Mother Earth!

roger

from mother jones:

" In fact, Clinton's God talk is more complicated—and more deeply rooted—than either fans or foes would have it, a revelation not just of her determination to out-Jesus the gop, but of the powerful religious strand in her own politics. "

it is phrases like God talk and out-Jesus that i find random and erratic. it is as if the mother jones authors choose not to allow for any authentic God belief in the public forum. as if religion and belief are so foreign and barbarian that they feel they must take a pejorative stance prior to discussion of the subject.

" These days, Clinton has graduated from the political wives' group into what may be Coe's most elite cell, the weekly Senate Prayer Breakfast. Though weighted Republican, the breakfast—regularly attended by about 40 members—is a bipartisan opportunity for politicians to burnish their reputations, giving Clinton the chance to profess her faith with men such as Brownback as well as the twin terrors of Oklahoma, James Inhofe and Tom Coburn, and, until recently, former Senator George Allen (R-Va.). Democrats in the group include Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor, who told us that the separation of church and state has gone too far; Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) is also a regular.

twin terrors of oklahoma. yes i would say that both mother jones and barbara's column smack of gossip and innuendo.

Carolyn Kay

They help troubled kids.

Shocking.

Carolyn Kay
MakeThemAccountable.com

Jeff Sharlet

As the coauthor of the Mother Jones piece and the author of the book Barbara cites, I will stand firm on one essential point, in respond to the post above: Calling Senators James Inhofe and Tom Coburn the "twin terrors of Oklahoma" is hardly innuendo.

But, if you feel Coburn has a point in proposing the death penalty for abortion providers, or that Inhofe makes a fair case for why "global warming" is just a liberal conspiracy, I suppose you might think Kathryn Joyce and I were a little unfair.

But Inhofe and Coburn aren't the point here: It's Hillary. What's odd about accusations that this is conspiratorial is that it's based almost entirely on the public record. We didn't need to meet anyone in a parking garage at midnight to find out that Hillary considers Doug Coe a "genuinely loving spiritual mentor"; she writes that in Living History. And if you don't want to take my word for Doug Coe's Hitler talk, there are sermons available online and 600 boxes of documents rife with such material available to the public in Collection 459 of the Billy Graham Center Archives, not an institution known for conspiracy theories or hostility to religion.

The fact is, The Family is NOT a conspiracy, it's bad theology. And challenging Hillary's association with this authoritarian interpretation of the gospel can hardly be considered anti-religious when The Family itself mocks religion as suitable for the masses but useless for God's anointed, who, they argue, are given special teachings direct from God.

And making the case that Barbara is drawing on an unsourced hit piece is really absurd. Mother Jones, like all decent magazines, does extensive fact checking -- you don't get to declare something without proof. The piece wasn't a hit piece, either. What's my evidence? I actually voted for Hillary. I've changed my mind since, but I voted for her knowing about her affiliations, worried about her affiliations, because I thought her health care plan was better and that Obama was no different on other issues. I now think I was wrong, and I'll freely admit that I've never been a fan of hers, but I can hardly be accused of pursuing an Obama agenda when I actually voted for her over Obama.

I raised the questions I did because they are there: because Hillary asks us to take her religion seriously as a part of her candidacy. Ok, so let's do so. I've tried to do that, and so has Barbara. Would that Hillary's defenders do as much as to take their candidate at her word.

Obamanationthatdesolates

This is shocking. I am not talking about the story itself, but the fact that Barbara Ehrenreich seems to believe it. It's like conversing with a random person on the street only to notice about 5 minutes in that the person's fingernails are filthy, their cuffs are worn, and their hair is matted. I guess politics can bring out the insanity in people. What's next? Do you think Hillary had Vince Foster killed?

Tara W

Who will Obama select as his Vice Presidential Candidate?

If Obama has questionable spriritual advisor's, then we need to examine all of his other advisor's. We cannot afford to have questionable individuals in the White House or even second in command.

Tara W.
Http://CenterLine.tv

roger

" But, if you feel Coburn has a point in proposing the death penalty for abortion providers, or that Inhofe makes a fair case for why "global warming" is just a liberal conspiracy, I suppose you might think Kathryn Joyce and I were a little unfair. "

yeah the question here really truly is whether you are being fair to the twin terrors.

what exactly does it mean when you write that hillary is attempting to out-Jesus the republicans.

i gather that this is not denigrating to sincere belief. or perhaps i am off base once again.

signed

--knuckle dragging christian homophobe from one of the fly over states.

Chickensh*tEagle

obamanationthatdesolates: "It's like conversing with a random person on the street only to notice about 5 minutes in that the person's fingernails are filthy, their cuffs are worn, and their hair is matted."

Whereas you've rung the doorbell and shown your fingernails, cuffs and hair right up front.

Nobody's talking about Vince Foster. And if Obama's spiritual associations are fair game, then so are Clinton's.

"I guess politics can bring out the insanity in people."

Amen!

Tara W: "If Obama has questionable spriritual advisor's, then we need to examine all of his other advisor's. We cannot afford to have questionable individuals in the White House or even second in command."

Obama has already repudiated Rev. Wright's outrageous statements. As for Obama's "second in command," it will probably be some frothing-at-the-mouth nut like Bill Richardson.

Next question: Who would you really be voting for if you voted for John McCain?

roger

jeff sharlet in the comment section of the nation:

" I'm grateful to Barbara Ehrenreich for reading my book and recommending it here in The Nation, but I'd jump in on this regardless. She's right to describe a group whose leader distorts Jesus like so--"You say, hey, you know Jesus said, 'You got to put Him before mother-father-brother-sister'? Hitler, Lenin, Mao, that's what they taught the kids. Mao even had the kids killing their own mother and father. But it wasn't murder. It was for building the new nation. The new kingdom"--as "fascist-leaning."


What do you think of public officials seeking spiritual solace in a group that repeatedly praises Hitler as a leadership model? They're not Nazis--they consider Hitler an evil man. The problem, they believe, is that he put himself where Jesus should be. Huh. Somehow, I don't imagine Jesus wanted to be a führer. There's no conspiracy here; just some very dangerous theology. And that's plenty bad enough. "

jeff: can you give us any type of documentation. is there a reference. is there a link. at least for jeremiah wright we had video. otherwise i can easily understand the depictions and references by myself and others to the piece as gossip and conspiracy.

http://www.thenation.com/bletters/20080331/ehrenreich

A new fan

This is the an excellent example of sarcasm and would be most appropriate for April 1.

Anarcissie

Carol Novack: '... The Republicans lap up rumors like this. If Obama supporters continue to tarnish HRC and Clinton supporters continue to tarnish BO, the Republicans will get their war mongering candidate elected. Articles like this are helping Mc Cain.'

I believe McCain may have a problem of his own in this area.

lc2

Barbara, your jealousy is showing .... and is not very flattering I might add.

Laurie Corzett

Rev. Wright strikes me as a person whose consciousness developed in the 60's. He sounds like all the other black preachers of the civil rights era. As far as I can tell (what I've seen in the media) what he says is true, and said by everyone with that mentality -- not specifically racist, but anti-establishment of Christian White Men and their mainstream brain-whitewash. Rather than in any sense condemn Senator Obama for association with this man, I can see where it would be an effective influence to his evolving social thought. It would be a fine dialectic: mainstream "white" politics vs. agitative "civil rights" politics coalescing into "seeing people as individuals rather than indulging in 'group think."

This preacher was preaching about justice and wrongdoings and the need for people to not complacently follow bad policies, but to remember history (including immediate history) and think critically. I have not checked out everything this preacher said. Perhaps there is much I would disagree with. However, what I have seen looks pretty normal to me for that exhortative kind of ministry. I do find so very much to disagree with in the preachings of the so-called Christian Right, much more hate mongering and ugliness. I find this whole outcry just another tempest in a highly agitated teapot of electoral politics.

Laurie Corzett

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-fuller/barack-obama-and-the-poli_b_91649.html

Barack Obama and the Politics of Dignity
Posted March 14, 2008 | 06:39 PM (EST)

Thomas Roche

When did HRC become a hard-right fundamentalist? She never claims to be such, and her views and public stances, votes on bills, political platform, etc., are substantively opposite those of Falwell and his successors, let alone some sort of quasi-fundamentalist cult such as 'The Family'. This is nutty--a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand.

Gar Lipow

I've been following stories about "The Family" or "The Fellowship" for a long time. If anything, the article understates what a dangerous group it is. I would like to hear Hillary's side before I assume she buys into everything it believes. But "The Family" is NOT just another right wing Evangelical Church. It is not even just a right wing Evangelical church with a lot of powerful people. It is Christian Dominionist (though it avoid the term Christian) - believing that a chosen few, members of "The Family", should rule. That is not just something preached by one preacher in that organization. It is at the core of their beliefs.

Gar Lipow

Since people are accusing BE of single sourcing, here is an older blog post that summarizes some of the past journalism on the subject:

http://www.sonoran-sunsets.com/jesus3.html

Brian

Neither Hillary, Obama, or McCain strike me as religious at all. Obama seems to be working that circut the best though, but as a Harvard trained lawyer I suspect he is more agnostic than anything else and that is why he has chosen to affiliate himself with politically active churches/pastors rather than something "higher". Hillary is the consumate agnostic as she seems unprincipled if you look at her checkered existance over the years, and McCain even though he had a horrible POW experience doesn't seem in the evangelical's clutches either. We have three agnostics running for office and it shows as there is nothing deep in any of them. They are superficial people who will do whatever it takes to get elected frankly. And in the end one of them will get to be the ultimate "shill" for the system. Evangelicals use clever ruses to gain political power in Washington much like Pharmaceutical companys use to use free lunches in hosptials for the medical interns and residents to get them indoctrinatate and on board with their products and free market program. Curious to me, is why people should let these three get away without addressing the substantive issues of social security, medicare, medicaid reform, building out new infrastructure, dealing with run away health and education costs, the devalued dollar, and all the real "bread and butter" issues. Slinging mud or claim religious insight tells you nothing about their potential competency to deal with "real" issues. Why do you all let them get away with this stuff. I don't care if a president consults his ouiji board to decide what to eat for dinner or where to go for vacation as long as he turns a serious sober focused eye on addressing the real issues we all face and have put off so long(decades). Bush claims religiousity but he has us mired in brutal killing wars in which torture is sanctioned and Cheyney says "so what?" when being asked if they care about what the public thinks of their policies. The whole religion thing is a bunch of fluff that tells you absolutely nothing about the candidate.

Anarcissie

Brian -- if you're a Harvard-trained lawyer you ought to know that assertions about our candidates' religions require some kind of evidence. I see no reason why the lot of them should not be true believers of one sort or another. In fact, I imagine people in politics may have an uncommon talent for belief and faith. At least, that's what the visible evidence indicates.

In any case, do not the religious affiliations so far discovered jibe well with the apparent characters of the candidates? Obama is associated with a church whose pastor was fond of fiery and sometimes contradictory rhetoric. In any case his church is an open organization -- anyone can show up and, as we have seen, make videos for YouTube. Clinton, on the other hand, belongs to a secretive, power-oriented, almost conspiratorial movement reminiscent of the old _Opus_Dei_. And this is widely reported to be her style of politics -- see, for example, numerous reports of her management of the health insurance fiasco during her husband's presidency. In the case of McCain, he is associated with a fellow who wants to start another Crusade to forcibly destroy Islam and convert all the Muslims -- which goes well with McCain's readiness to carry on imperial war for the next 100 years.

The reported religions fit the reported persons, I would say.

lc2

Um, why doesn't anyone here see the cells/breakfasts, etc. for what they really represent for Clinton -- networking opportunities? She has found a way to insert herself into every available power structure in Washington -- what's wrong with that? I read her book a while back and she mentions her prayer group participation several times. I'm not religious myself, but I can certainly understand why someone in her position would be.

As for the rest of the allegations in this piece .... it's all over the place. "Sex-segregated group homes" (I'm assuming for troubled teens) is a bad thing since when?

I'm sorry, but this piece reeks of paranoia and doesn't jibe w/Hillary Clinton's politics. She might be a lot of things, but she's not some wanna-be Hitler.

Is she an elitist? Of course!! So is every writer, every teacher, every speaker, every preacher, every actor, everyone who steps up on a soapbox. If any person in those roles didn't think they had some special purchase on the human experience, they wouldn't bother putting themselves out there. Show me a leader who doesn't think they have the goods! No one runs for political office by accident.

As for why Hillary C. stayed silent during the Wright issue, I believe it had nothing to do with her fear that her participation in this group would be exposed. She did it to let the conflict play itself out or escalate, whatever the case may be.

Way too much conspiracy-type thinking went into this one, in my opinion. Wil

Brian

I think you are in the throes of fantasical thinking regarding all the religious plotting and planning. The evidence is in their own words and actions that they are agnostic in my book. An agonstic can belong as a card carrying Christian etc and help finance their church or larger causes. Its convienent. They may partially believe in some concepts as not to means hell so they are told. What I don't see is any of the candidates really deep in any kind of religious thought. Obama is a secular humanist and church participant. Good. So is Hillary sort of, and McCain kind of. I am not a big conspiracy convert frankly though strange bedfellows surface now and then. The way the candidates use language just bellows agnosticism to me. I think you are reading too much into the latest interpretation of rumors and yet to be vetted facts as some real evidence of nefarious religiousity. I don't deny nefarious intent of the political self serving time, but I the reliousity thing just fails the sniff test for me.

Dawn

Wow, I think Ralph Nader's looking better all the time!

Dawn

Brian

Ic2 makes good points. Bush also used politically savvy religous groups strategically in both presidential campaigns and with a lot of success. While Ashcrofts selection for Justice was payback to them, later on he didn't even put in that effort as chronicled by the "expose" of a White House liason which might be partly true and partly sour grapes. Pat Robertson was probably the last true believer who ran with Romney a close second as Mormons do put in a real one or two year stint after highschool to be missionarys and that shows real committment. Yes Ice2 Hillary is inserting herself into anything with umph and most transparently also. American churches are filled with millions of loyal agnostics who accept some aspects of their religon while rejecting or forgetting others. This leaves a sizable empty space for politics to brew inside syncopating various group interests and causes. Even within the Christian church there are dozen's of flavors from mere submission and acceptance to social action. O'Reilly keeps playing Obama's fiery pastor's speech ad nauseum, but if we belive in free speech at all, we should enourage people to simply speak the truth as they know it. Nothing that pastor has been recorded to say should surprise anyone as its preaching to the choir, music that invokes emotion of a sort really without degenerating into any real action. The fact that a whole industry has grown around it is just an iconic fact whether it be the disney culture or someone's church. I think now people learned that African-American churches are more complicated than just your routine ones most are use to. Yet even in the plain Methodist ministry there is a call to action for many causes, except they aren't fixed on the ethnocentric. America is great in pushing narcissistic causes and ethnocentric ones are just another version of buy this and look fantastic. Whether the emotion be esctatic or anger really matters little, but what it does do is fix social behavoir along narrow lines and certain expectations. From this you have one group calling another right or left, conservative or liberal, white or black, and it sets up a fulcrum for conflict as each group hangs onto its own narcissistic image of themselves which in shorthand means their superiority over their competition. Unfortunately this kind of thinking perpetuates a tremendous social distortions which manifest as misguided policy, misplaced energies, and unremitting grudges.

Chickensh*tEagle

Anarcissie: "In fact, I imagine people in politics may have an uncommon talent for belief and faith. At least, that's what the visible evidence indicates."

lc2: "Um, why doesn't anyone here see the cells/breakfasts, etc. for what they really represent for Clinton -- networking opportunities? She has found a way to insert herself into every available power structure in Washington -- "

Fascinating dynamic here. If Sharlet's account is right, this Fellowship is a secretive bunch with an agenda seeking power by sucking up to the already powerful.

The already powerful are like anyone else in that they have their own fears and insecurities and private demons, which under the right conditions could make them targets for manipulation. They are also on the lookout for those they think they can use. So it could be interesting to see just who gets the better use out of whom.

WereBear

Let me recap:

It's GOOD to know what religion a candidate follows, because it is a window onto their worldview and their moral precepts. So it's perfectly all right not only to bring up one's religion, but to emphasize how it shapes your decisions.

And...

It's BAD to discuss a candidate's religion, because that is a private matter that is nobody's business, and we are supposed to support the separation of church and state.

Only one thing is clear. You can't have it both ways.

Considering it has been an issue throughout American history (there was a reason JFK was the first Catholic President... and still, the only...) I find it highly ingenuous to protest that we can't talk about a person's religion. We can and we do. In a perfect world, we might not, but we don't live there.

And I defy anyone to claim honestly that they would NOT feel differently about a person who is an Episcopalian, and an identical person who follows Scientology.

It might not matter to us if they own a local hardware store.

It should matter to us if they are a family therapist and we are searching for someone to help our troubled teen.

Context, context, context! I think it is pertinent to consider a person's professed beliefs when we are considering them for an important leadership position that affects all our lives.

Their beliefs about foreign diplomacy and the proper use of force.

Their beliefs about how our children should be educated.

And, yes, their beliefs about fundamental issues of morality and law.

Hilary Clinton has herself said she has a spiritual leader, and this leader has some troubling viewpoints about democracy.

The only valid question, for any candidate, is whether they agree with certain viewpoints of their self-professed spiritual leader.

After all, there are many Jews who eat cheeseburgers. There are many Catholics who practice birth control. And there are many Protestants who are not snake handlers.

The question has come up, and Obama has answered it.

I wait for the other candidates to be as candid.

Brian

I still have not been able to discern in the slightest what Obama or any of the three candidates religions are or what they believe outside of some populist Christiananity. Going to video-taped sermons is a social function and in that I can see all three are social people, nothing more. I haven't a clue as to what their believe's really are or even if they espouse any beyond a generic feel good secular humanism, that of course, God approves. Of course. In olden days they would be considered some kind of generic surface protestants. Today who knows. To his credit Obama has put in some effort to try and communicate with more and more of the countries people, but is that religious? Is the Reverand Wright particularly religous, or a stump speech maker? Does the pastor or preacher of your church invoke God to damn nations and people? That's stretching the idea of going to church more than a bit. Its just some kind of ethnocentric social meeting with fiery speeches against all the others of a different group. What I don't like is the need for supporters of crazy policies and candidates to resort to spin such as you say that Obama has answered the question. Why the question answered itself but that doesn't require any particular response. Stop the spin. Bush spun us into a six year war in a hellish region with people from hell and his administration spins its rationale every day not caring what the public who is paying for all this thinks. They speak as righteously as it gets, just like Reverand Wright. I would hope you can support your candidate without resorting to any ridiculous and transparent "spin" for a change. Perpetuating spin is reality is a crime in my book. Unless someone is kosher I don't get the problem with anyone eating cheeseburgers assuming they are a quality product and cooked well in a clean kitchen. The only reason to elect Obama is to decide if he will be a first rate manager and inspirer and be honest and sane in troubled times. Also he will still need the support of many who oppose him now. But the American population doesn't owe him the presidency. He owes them a good president. We really need a good president to clean up Bush jr's messes which lay all around our country and the world now. He is truely going to have to be a great manager. In fact that would help advance reconcilliation between the races more than anything. And the only way this will work is he will need a very supportive coalition of diverses people both inside and outside of government to push through the needed changes after he is elected. It is so wrong to make this campaign about race when what America needs is extra competent management to get off this stagnant dime we have been glued to.

Anarcissie

I think it is a big, big mistake to assume that people are insincere about their professed beliefs -- especially if they are your opponents, who are the last people you want to underestimate.

Brian

For the most part I am not saying religious candidates are insincere, as in their own minds they most definitely feel they are about as sincere as necessary. Its a utilitarian sincereness that sometimes feels sincere and other times feels awkward, but either way they do it or go through it. That is the normal state of affairs for most people and practically all the major social functions are organized around it from baptism, confirmation, marriage, death, and crises events so its conveinent and conventional and what is done. I notice some commentators on these boards have a very two dimensional understanding of abstract concepts and see them as in black and white concrete ways, rather than in ways of the world as we know it. Even bin laden cynically uses religion in his own power quest in his latest tape that sounds quite insincere and well phony to even a westerner as myself. Sad actually that belies him as a manipulator with a very mean agenda. I think its possible to talk yourself into beliving someone elses program versus what you see with your own eyes all too easily and that is your typical citizen of any state or ideology. Its very human and practical to do so and embeds you in a working network, gives you leverage to get people to help you and to get things done. It doesn't mean you sit there and plot how to manipulate others directly, but instead you intuitively bring the circus to them and ask them to pay its frieght in return. Leaders do that all the time, weather secular or religious. Its the pretense of being in the throes of a higher calling when you darn well are confused as its really something social not extra-spiritual that is dubious at best. There is a whole aspect of human fantasy life that is ripe for attributing extracorporeal and magical interpretations to so many facets of our life. Much of it is our own doing, not a special message from God. Some of it is synchronous with other intense events that we fuse together as one compound symbolic undertaking. Anyone can read a bible or Koran and say they believe it concretely as a fundamentalist, or as more philosophically or metaphorically as a "beliver". Then they can quote it as they ask or make people do things which sanctifys and removes their own personal responsibility for say "sending people to war." It all has a very special purpose in the social compact. If one were to have direct contact with God without the filter of a great book they would really have no need to stay here with a whole universe waiting. From a natural biology persepective the human nervous system that comprises the mind doesn't even track in real time what is happening in our physical world. Its all mathematically smoothed and averaged into endpoint events that occur in a log-linear sequence dependent on fluxuations of our biology to record and measure. This is nothing new, two scientists won the nobel prize in showing mathematicallly how neurons process signals and it is from that we projected them on our physical world and derived calculus as a tool for measuring small changes in rates and ratio's that aggregate into compilations that equal volumes and accelerations. But I digress. Our mammalian neurocontruct is really quite amazing in some ways while so inaccurate in others, hence our amazing fantasy life. Things in the great book are fantastical and things are specific. Its a projection of our nervous system again and that doesn't make it any less Godfull. Its a gradient upon which to grow, a tool given for us to yet develop, not to chain down and force others to rote it over and over. That is why when people talk about being so religious I can only wonder what it is they want from me. In the name of religion so many wars have been fought, empires built and deconstructed, people salvaged and savaged, and history so distorted along party lines. I am sure card carrying members of the third reich were every bit as convinced God was on their side and they were destiny as the most charismatic preacher you can find here. The winners criminalize the losers. And yes they were insane and vicious and genocidal and clearly thieves as fascists, but so is any pirate troop on the high seas looking for free cargo. In the end, a claim of religious immunity and God is on our side is just a call to duty for others to follow and get in line. Some who preach have unusually good insight and can be very helpful to a society, but we should never forget the role of religion in socializing and mobilizing a people and remember it should not be confused with some independent divine will when we ourselves decree who it is to be used, fatwah or not.

Anarcissie

Brian -- Strange as it may seem, the fact that we may think religions are irrational and invalid doesn't mean other people don't sincerely believe as well as profess them and act on their beliefs. The same is true of other seemingly crazy ideologies.

I've read articles from the 1930s explaining that Hitler couldn't possibly believe in the anti-Semitism he was spouting. No, he was an intelligent fellow who was just pandering to the prejudices of the masses. He was also supposed to be too smart to go to war with Great Britain, France, and the rest of the world, in spite of his belligerent talk.

All too often, people mean exactly what they say.

Brian

I don't see religions as irrational, but as a depth psychology lens into a fusion of psyche and culture, in essence a mandala composed of the prima materia of what we as mammal's are in mind. There are lots of interpretations of this concept by others expert in this whether they be Jung or Campbell or Hillman. So if religion is a lens into the mind of the species who project it outward from their own unique biology, current memmory, and stored memmory in the form of archetypal manifestations(godhead, the god stuff, the it) then all it does is focus the separate elements of the species down a particular focused corridor that is allowed(quantum as the natural world really is). Some would say this gives people's fantasy-reality involvement a special meaning, and certain depth psychology attempts to do this through a series of coded revelations that liberates blocked and diverted counterproductive energies looped into what is loosely called complexes. I remember seeing some footage of Hitler in his retreat with a princely look on his face with his eyes transfixed on a realization of his great germanic historical calling and in his own mind he was the called upon king to lead a people in a time in history. It was all there in his face, insane, dangerous, call it what you will, but it was a realization in his mind that plunged the entire world into a war that cost 20 million other peoples lives. Such is the power of fantasy backed up by a tank, or todays wmd's. In his youthful boarding house days, yes, he was homeless in munich as a portrait painter before he hit the rooming house circut, he had shared some of his earnings with Jews and others living there depending on the circumstance. To really know evil its interesting to see its innocent beginnings and how it sprouts wings and suddenly turns fascist. Even the Manson Family(gang) moved through an innocent flower child period in the 1960's to "evolve" suddenly into a paranoid group of car and credit card theives and drug dealers who burned their suppliers and clients to a convicted mad crew of 7 horrible murders of the power class for reasons nobody understands even today. Both Hitler and Manson, or Jim Jones or David Koresh, etc etc went through humble beginnings to a charismatic phase attracting fawn like devotees to paranoid lunatics in which a lot of lives were taken and lost for no good reason, yet at the time they would tell there was. But all of these groups were highly dedicated highly indoctrinated after careful vetting and then asked then demanded to make the ultimate sacrifice for their founders paranoia. They were all religions, but ones that went mad because the people believed too deeply and were vulnerable to a cult of personality and the leadership was entrained in determined paranoia(the worst kind). One thing the leaders all had in common was either they were deeply fanatically religious(Jones, Koresh) or had served time in prison at one point in their lives(Hitler, Manson). The difference between the current list of 3 candidates is they are not fanatical believers, but rather secular humanists with high narcissistic needs subjugated to some sense of doing public good and have spouses. Its kind of funny actually, but certainly true. Regarding Hitler being smart after having read transcripts of what the traditional German Generals thought of him, it was clear he totally self-destructed by taking over command and literally drove their military into one brick wall after another after the original quick blitzkreigs over neighboring weak and unprepared countries. France for instance stayed loyal to the horse calvary while Germany broke all its World War 1 treaties and built tanks and organized its army into a mechanized infantry. Stalin's Russia was blessed to be so big and wide they were able to move all their industrial factorys from western russia to eastern russia and wake up and build huge numbers of fast moving tanks to keep throwing at the Germans bogged down in western Russia. Hitler was a one man wreaking crew of the German military, and in some ways, in slow motion so is our own military being degraded in our current multiple conflicts. The Air Force needs to build new planes of many classes, the navy new ships, and the army new equipment, fresh troops, deeper training,and restock supplies. Our Army is being used as a glorified police force in Iraq, a giant swat team really. I don't think was particularly smart, but the German people were easy to organize and they adopted modern technology faster than their neighbors, and they had certain efficencys in their industrial base, and had no problem instituting marital law every where they went and using slave labor. I don't think that is more a style than any real adaptive intelligence. In fact the British, the Russians, and the Americans were much more adaptive to the immense challenges and in shorter time than the Iraq war completely overwhelmed the German war machine and abolished that country from the map of history forever. Its shocking to read about just how terribly used the German Army and Airforce and Navy outside of the uboats by their leaders. Its shocking actually. Hitler lost the war even before his tanks crossed the russian border and his generals were powerless to so advise him. Anybody could have looked at the requirements of fuel, resupply, and the coming shortage of tanks and see it was an impossible task. Actually short of the early successes of Hitler's party, reorganizing of industry and coopting of the public, and overrunning of his neighbors with gas powered vehicles he was a terrible terrible leader of a land with such limited resources to carry on a protracted war. The lesson to us is we need to slow down and rebuild our industrial base and public infrastructure and frankly our military on many levels. This will take ten years to just turn around and a generation to complete two thirds of it. It will mean a whole new generation of nuclear power plants, whole new fleets of planes and ships and ground vehicles, a complete rebuilding of our power and water infrastructure, a turn around of our energy industries to face a declining global oil supply. Issues such as financial stability, nationwide availability of "affordable" health care, revamping of retirement in an era of people living longer(much bigger than tweaking social security and medicare) a way of either saving or substituting "something" for medicaid(going broke), environmental sustainability, and an education base to feed all of these needs. Frankly our social(societal needs) cannot be adequately addressed without a big makeover as a nation on a rather large scale. We won't be able to do this if greed and concentration of power into fewer and fewer hands continues at the current rate. If that happens we will become two countries. One for the haves and one for the have nots. The inequalty will destroy our freedoms as we even know them now as a hardened police state takes over to maintain tight order. I agree with Bill Richardson and think enough of this bush clinton bush clinton constipation. Its time for a younger generation to take over, and one that is well eductated indeed.

roger

brian: " Is the Reverand Wright particularly religous, or a stump speech maker? Does the pastor or preacher of your church invoke God to damn nations and people? That's stretching the idea of going to church more than a bit. "

the danger for obama is that white americans will assume that this rhetoric is what all black americans say about whites in private. its less about belief and more about race.

roger

richardson as judas: " Mr. Richardson’s endorsement came right around the anniversary of the day when Judas sold out for 30 pieces of silver, so I think the timing is appropriate, if ironic,” Mr. Carville said, referring to Holy Week. "

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/22/us/politics/22richardson.html?_r=2&ei=5090&en=31393242dd61f808&ex=1363924800&oref=slogin&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&pagewanted=print&oref=slogin

roger

" I do have confidence that the Senator will cast his net widely in search of men and women of diverse, open-minded views and of superior intellectual qualities to assist him in the wide range of responsibilities that he must superintend. "

http://www.slate.com/blogs/blogs/convictions/archive/2008/03/23/endorsing-obama.aspx

apparently we indeed have a need for a ruling class. it is apparently unwise to cast off the chains of rule and turn the leadership of this country over to the proletariat.

Anarcissie

roger: '... apparently we indeed have a need for a ruling class. ...'

If we're Doug Kmiec, definitely. Get someone like that off the leash and God knows what would happen.

Chickensh*tEagle

Interesting that Kmiec doesn't say why he's not endorsing McCain.

Also: "Effective criticism of the incumbent for diverting us from this task is a good start, but it is incomplete without a forthright outline of a commitment to undertake, with international partners, the formation of a world-wide entity that will track, detain, prosecute, convict, punish, and thereby, stem radical Islam's threat to civil order."

How about a name-the-entity contest to get the ball rolling? My entry is "Crusaders." :-)

roger

" Get someone like that off the leash and God knows what would happen. "

" As a Republican, I strongly wish to preserve traditional marriage not as a suspicion or denigration of my homosexual friends, but as recognition of the significance of the procreative family as a building block of society. As a Republican, and as a Catholic, I believe life begins at conception, and it is important for every life to be given sustenance and encouragement. As a Republican, I strongly believe that the Supreme Court of the United States must be fully dedicated to the rule of law, and to the employ of a consistent method of interpretation that keeps the Court within its limited judicial role. As a Republican, I believe problems are best resolved closest to their source and that we should never arrogate to a higher level of government that which can be more effectively and efficiently resolved below. As a Republican, and the constitutional lawyer, I believe religious freedom does not mean religious separation or mindless exclusion from the public square. "

how much of this is distressing to you.

roger

" world-wide entity that will track, detain, prosecute, convict, punish, and thereby, stem radical Islam's threat to civil order. "

how much of this is distressing to you.

roger

*****product warning*****

*****potential atrocity story******

mind you i have not yet taken a position on the effectiveness nor propriety of a worldwide effort against what has been labeled radical islam. on the other hand there appears to be a need for just such security/law enforcement/police action.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_Toronto_terrorism_case

if i remember correctly these persons (i will go with the neutral term) were described as incompetent and without resources to complete the act as planned.

Chickensh*tEagle

Not so much "distressing" as ***sigh*** same ol' same ol'.

"I strongly wish to preserve traditional marriage..."

Gays would like to be allowed traditional marriage, too. And nobody is saying Republicans wouldn't be allowed to marry anymore.

"...but as recognition of the significance of the procreative family as a building block of society."

Same-sex marriage would just allow for that many more building blocks, not to mention a few more adoptive families when a procreative family turns out to be a bad environment for a kid.

"As a Republican..."

So the question of when life begins is a political one?

"...as a Catholic, I believe life begins at conception..."

Then why does God allow about half of all fertilized ova to be ejected in the woman's period? It's preposterous to equate a fertilized egg with a baby.

"I strongly believe that the Supreme Court of the United States must be fully dedicated to the rule of law, and to the employ of a consistent method of interpretation that keeps the Court within its limited judicial role."

In other words, the law is what a Republican president says it is.

"As a Republican, I believe problems are best resolved closest to their source and that we should never arrogate to a higher level of government that which can be more effectively and efficiently resolved below."

As a whatever-I-am, I believe it would be nice if problems could always be resolved close to the source, but it ain't always so. Republicans seem to agree, as for instance when they want the federal government to override the states on decriminalizing marijuana.

"As a Republican, and the constitutional lawyer, I believe religious freedom does not mean religious separation or mindless exclusion from the public square."

Sometimes MINDFUL exclusion is appropriate.

"...world-wide entity that will track, detain, prosecute, convict, punish, and thereby, stem radical Islam's threat to civil order."

Then from the Muslims' point of view, the rest of the world has just gotten that much more hostile to them they need to come together to combat the Crusader menace to their religion. Which will just make for more and more and more conflict.

pubbing

Ha ha ha ha. The "evil" christians are at it again.

They're trying to take over the world by allowing pharmisists decide what goods they sell just like any other busisness, and letting guards choose not to guard abortion clinics.

You people are silly.

Chickensh*tEagle

"...They're trying to take over the world by allowing pharmisists decide what goods they sell just like any other busisness..."

Well, suppose your doctor, as a matter of conscience, refused you treatment for an erection that persisted more than four hours. :-)

Larry In Lethbridge

This blog is just too deep for me. I think Chris should proclaim himself a candidate and run alongside the Republican fellow, what's his name, McCain ? Does his family make frozen french fries ?

roger

" “I remember landing under sniper fire,’’ Clinton had said during a speech a week ago Monday. “There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base."

Yet one of her traveling companions, comedian Sinbad, told The Washington Post that he had no recollection of even any threat of gunfire.

Then came video documentation of the landing. "

its a tremendous game of gotcha. the entire campaign has devolved into trivia and banality.

http://weblogs.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/blog/2008/03/clintons_landing_under_sniper.html

Chickensh*tEagle

McCain's next line: "If she's running for cover when no one's shooting, what'll happen when the shooting starts?"

Of course the fact that no one, including Hillary, ran for cover will doubtless get lost.

Jacqueline Homan

Hillary's fascist "church" isn't her only problem. She has ties to TATA Consulting, a firm which made its pile of loot in the off-shoring business. A firm that helps other companies to streamline the off-shoring process, to shed American jobs while simultaneously importing H-1B and L-1 "guest" workers, whom American workers were forced to train under threat of penalty of being denied unemployment benefits if they refused.

Most people don't remember Hillary attending TATA's ribbon-cutting ceremony and cutting the ribbon when she was First Lady. But I remember. Hillary knew that Americans sat here jobless and poor, and many more have become jobless and poor and unemployable since then. For someone who claims to have the interest of the working poor, especially working poor women, at heart, she sure had a lousy way of walking the walk.

Irresponsible global trade practices and off-shoring impoverished countless Americans - and of course, that includes working women and unemployed women - of ALL races.

Hillary Clinton has zero credibility with me.

Look at her activities and interests with firms like TATA, her voting record as senator in upstate NY which has a poverty and jobless rate as high as the Rust Belt. Compare her voting record on employment policies vs the other candidates. She's not for the little guy - or gal. This country would stand a better chance under Obama. Just compare their records.

chris

chickenshit offers two statements:

""...as a Catholic, I believe life begins at conception..."

and:

"Then why does God allow about half of all fertilized ova to be ejected in the woman's period? It's preposterous to equate a fertilized egg with a baby."

More idiocy from chickenshit. What's preposterous is to equate any other cells with a baby.

Can any other cells combine to form a fetus? No.

Try this test. Think backwards from the birth of a baby to the moment when its existence began.

The ball starts rolling when sperm penetrates egg. Period. Not sooner. Not later.

Catholicism has nothing to do with fertilization. It occurs independently of all religions.

As for your mention of miscarriages, what of it? The human body misfires in many areas for many reasons.

When is cancer actually cancer? When the tumor is so big you can feel it?

Or when the first cell mutates the wrong way?

Anarcissie

roger: '... [Kmiec] ... how much of this is distressing to you[?]'

None of it. I thought his writing, although mostly standard-issue boilerplate, was unusually and humorously pompous, and my remark was humorously ironic. I am sure Mr. Kmiec can in fact be trusted off the leash, at least most of the time.

Anarcissie

chris: '... The ball starts rolling when sperm penetrates egg. Period. Not sooner. Not later. ...'

Tibetan Buddhists, or at least some of them whom I read about in a colorful magazine quite a while back, disagree with you. It seems they believe in fate and reincarnation and a lot of other things Roman Catholics may not believe in, and they think the baby ball starts rolling a lot sooner than conception. The soul already exists, you see -- it's going to be reincarnated -- and it's aimed at the moment of conception long before that moment actually occurs physically. Interfering with the process at any point along the way is bad karma, so I take it contraception or even the obstruction of young love is just about as reprehensible as abortion.

Whether the Tibetans take all that seriously, I don't know, but people who are hot to turn women back into compulsory baby machines should look into this curious religion. It's got possibilities unrealized in the West.

Chickensh*tEagle

chris: "When is cancer actually cancer? When the tumor is so big you can feel it? Or when the first cell mutates the wrong way?

Irrelevant -- unless, of course, you want to equate a fetus with a cancerous tumor.

"The ball starts rolling when sperm penetrates egg. Period. Not sooner. Not later."

Actually, it's a rather drawn-out "period" that only starts with penetration and culminates with the new genome being formed. It takes a while to complete. And it's not about when "the ball starts rolling," but when the "ball" becomes a baby. And you don't know that; you're not God.

"Catholicism has nothing to do with fertilization."

Well, Catholicism has at least one encyclical to do with fertilization, comma, not interfering with -- or was it (drum roll, please) a PAPAL BULL!!! Anyway it's all b.s.; if altar boys got pregnant, abortion (or at least arranging for one) would be a sacrament.

chris

chickenshit, regarding pregnancy, you wrote:

"Actually, it's a rather drawn-out "period" that only starts with penetration and culminates with the new genome being formed. It takes a while to complete."

You agree. Pregnancy is a drawn out period that starts with penetration (of egg by sperm). That's it. you've got it.

The process takes nine months, give or take a few days.

Like I said, start in the delivery room and work backwards. Go back day by day. One day at a time till you get to the starting point. Your developmental timeline will take you back to the moment of fertilization.

There's no mystery. Happens millions of times every day.

Brian

life begins evolving in the womb and it is completely arbitrary when the state determines when it will consider it begun. In fact as sensate beings we evolve through all of our lives. Some seem to stagnate sad enough at some point, even regress as "human beings" but when life begins is when it begins, and that is at the point of genomic fusion. There is no other way to dress it up. Personally I belive people have the ultimate rights over their own bodies and even as a host they do. Women should have that natural right without the interference of social law that would criminalized what they do. We are way beyond our point of social evolution on this earth to look at women as breeders, though couples can certainly breed. Abortion is a weighty painful decision, not one I would chose but I would not put another in prison because they excercised their rights with their own body as whether to be a host or not. The bible was written in a time of famine and pestilance, lack of basic sanitary water and sewage, disease prevention, intervention, or even basic immunization. And if tribes or Ceasar wanted a bigger army and more worker bees they needed as many healthy babies as possible making it into adulthood so they could be drafted to the cause. It made good sense not to eat potentially unsanitay pork, to practice sex with one partner well known to you, to maintain the security of some kind of family and tribal unit. But times have changed and the earth is straining under the yolk of human overpopulation to a point where sensible birth planning, a personal choice, though socially pressured in many ways, is necessary for our continued survival as a species. The rutgers too many rats in a box experiment showed that beyond a certain reproducible critter density the rats self imploded with cannibalism, murder, fraticide, and territory and spacing and social etiquette all go out the window. The males go nuts and become highly aggressive. Sound familiar? So if you back Ceasar's party to build yet a bigger Roman Empire here in America you will be against any kind of abortion and be draconian in your punishments for it. And if you aren't an empire builder you will respect a woman's choice and not even guilt her for your own amoral thoughts of controlling her body.

Anarcissie

Brian: '... And if you aren't an empire builder you will respect a woman's choice....'

Quite so, except many empire-builders are satisfied if they can help subjugate even a few other people. A small empire, but the principle is the same.

Chickensh*tEagle

chris: "That's it. you've got it."

Actually, you don't get it. There is no particular "moment of fertilization":

"The closest event we can find to a thunderclap marking the entry of a soul into the world is the moment of conception. At that instant a new human genome is determined, and we have an entity destined to develop into a unique individual. The Catholic Church and certain other Christian denominations designate conception as the moment of ensoulment and the beginning of life (which, of course, makes abortion a form of murder). But just as a microscope reveals that a straight edge is really ragged, research on human reproductions shows that the 'moment of conception' is not a moment at all. Sometimes several sperm penetrate the outer membrane of the egg, and it takes time for the egg to eject the extra chromosomes. What and where is the soul during this interval? Even when a single sperm enters, its genes remain separate from those of the egg for a day or more, and it takes yet another day or so for the newly merged genome to control the cell. So the 'moment' of conception is in fact a span of twenty-four to forty-eight hours." -- Steven Pinker, The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature, pp. 224-5

Here's some more detail:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_fertilization

"Try this test. Think backwards from the birth of a baby to the moment when its existence began."

Did you take a Dianetics course or something, chris? Anyway, I'll try that when you try getting pregnant.


roger

" We are way beyond our point of social evolution on this earth to look at women as breeders, though couples can certainly breed. "

" The rutgers too many rats in a box experiment showed that beyond a certain reproducible critter density the rats self imploded with cannibalism, murder, fraticide, and territory and spacing and social etiquette all go out the window. The males go nuts and become highly aggressive. Sound familiar? "

Quite so, except many empire-builders are satisfied if they can help subjugate even a few other people. A small empire, but the principle is the same. "

the worthy and sensible hero of the fight against irresponsible breeding, fraticide and small empires:

http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080311/METRO/803110329&imw=Y

me thinks you give abortion providers too much credit.


roger

" On our third trash investigation we also found bloody canulas and human tissue distinguishably not a baby, except this time we also discovered infant body parts, including arms, hands, legs, feet, a spine, a ribcage, and eyes.

We estimate we found at least ten different infants. Each one was wrapped in a bloody gauze, tied at the end. Once you turned these inside out, you would find the infant parts. Each bloody gauze that was filled with an infant was wrapped in the absorbent paper used to cover the operating table which was soaked in blood, and used, bloody, latex gloves."

you speak of the procedure in vague and theoretical terms as if the woman is the only participant.

now is it still an atrocity story if we reveal the procudure by which fraticide is prevented or am i being misogynist again.


http://cplc.blogspot.com/2008/03/abortion-facility-in-michigan-searched.html

chris

chickenshit, it appears you are merely quibbling about the moment at which the process of gestation begins. Based on the information you supplied, a pregnancy might began as late as two days after sperm meets egg.

As they say, my statements and your statements represent a distinction without a difference.

However, you have made it clear you accept that life begins in the earliest moments after sex.

As for your crack about trying a little thought experiment if I try to become pregnant, well, since I am male and I can't become pregnant, it seems you've said you won't attempt a thought experiment because your mind isn't capable of it. No surprise there.

It doesn't matter to me if you think it's reasonable to kill a fetus. But when you and others pretend the fetus is not human to justify killing it, you reveal your true feelings on the matter.

Chickensh*tEagle

roger: "now is it still an atrocity story if we reveal the procudure by which fraticide is prevented or am i being misogynist again."

If by "fraticide" you mean "fratricide," I think "homicide" would fit better for the point you're trying to make. And I'm guessing you mean "committed" rather than "prevented," unless you're talking about activists blocking access to the place...or maybe bombing it?

Anyway -- they say "infant," I say "fetus."

"or am i being misogynist again."

ANY medical practice as badly run as that one seems to have been, should be leaned on hard.

But if you're stretching that badly run practice into a reason why women shouldn't be allowed to have abortions, you could say that people shouldn't be allowed hernia repairs because this or that clinic is run badly. And yes, your misogyny is still showing.

Chickensh*tEagle

chris: "...well, since I am male and I can't become pregnant..."

:-)

roger

" The rutgers too many rats in a box experiment showed that beyond a certain reproducible critter density the rats self imploded with cannibalism, murder, fraticide, and territory and spacing and social etiquette all go out the window. "

no chickenshit. i meant prevented. as in what brian is apparently proposing will be prevented by one million annual abortions.

roger

" Anyway -- they say "infant," I say "fetus."

semantics. the ribcage and arms and legs and eyes of what was human life were recovered from the bottom of a dumpster. somehow the thing doesnt equate to a hernia operation.

roger

" And yes, your misogyny is still showing. "

do i get credit for good behaviour if i regret the dismemberment of the 50% of fetuses which were female.

Father Denis Gray

I fear that deep down dear sister Hilary is really quite shallow.

Chickensh*tEagle

roger: "do i get credit for good behaviour if i regret the dismemberment of the 50% of fetuses which were female."

A while back you were talking about abortion for gender preference. This case doesn't seem to show that's happening.

And since you still claim the right to force women to carry unwanted pregnancies to term -- sorry, you get no credit for non-misogyny.

roger

http://en.epochtimes.com/news/7-3-16/52898.html

" A recent Western Standard article reported that some Asian immigrants are seeking sex selective abortions in Canada, and being accommodated by clinics in B.C. and Ontario. A B.C. clinician interviewed for the story estimated she sees women who want to abort female fetuses at a rate of about one per week.

But sex selective abortion is not within the realm of acceptance for most Canadians. A 1993 Royal Commission on New Reproductive Technologies found that 90 per cent of Canadians were uncomfortable with the idea of gender selective abortions. "

the female fetus is the violated and vulnerable population. the male baby is cherished and desirable.

" A while back you were talking about abortion for gender preference. This case doesn't seem to show that's happening. "

what this case shows is that abortion is not the elimination of a conveniently insignificant and ambiguous blob of fetal tissue nor is that which is aborted nothing more than the product of conception but rather this abortionist through carelessness allowed the world to see that abortion presents as the disection and desrcruction of the human body of an exceedingly vulnerable population. women are lied to in abortion clinics everyday by hacks who are not interested in the health of the woman.

roger

" While the natural sex ratio is about 105 boys per 100 girls, in India it has climbed to 113 boys per 100 girls, and up to 156 boys per 100 girls in some regions. "

how many millions of girls must have been aborted in order to create this much of a ratio difference between boys and girls in a region with the population of china and india.

what do you call such events.

Chickensh*tEagle

"...but rather this abortionist through carelessness allowed the world to see that abortion presents as the disection and desrcruction of the human body of an exceedingly vulnerable population."

Sorry, but the burden is still on you to prove that the word "population" is applicable here.

"how many millions of girls must have been aborted in order to create this much of a ratio difference between boys and girls in a region with the population of china and india. what do you call such events.

I call them irrelevant to politics in the U.S., which is what this thread is about.

roger

" Sorry, but the burden is still on you to prove that the word "population" is applicable here."

http://beingsara.com/story/category/pregnancy-posts/page/3/

someone named sara. im sure shes a lovely person. tell me what you see.

it looks like a vulnerable, dependent human being.

roger

" I call them irrelevant to politics in the U.S., which is what this thread is about. "

indeed that is what is important. the thread. the blessed thread. if millions of women in asia are having abortions to prevent girls from being born would the logic not follow that the asians do not want to add to their families girls which are a vulnerable and less desired population. the population which you dispute above.

why else would girls be aborted.

roger

http://www.jillstanek.com/archives/2007/04/house_43_episod.html

Freelance photographer Michael Clancy took this photo at a Vanderbilt University hospital in 1999 during a new en utero surgical procedure to treat spina bifida of a 21-week-old baby boy named Samuel Armas, now seven.

the fetus reaches out of the uterus and grabs the surgeons finger.

what do you see.

i see a vulnerable, dependent sentient being.

Madison

Prayer groups are so common on the Hill and in DC in general. It's hard to find a politician that doesn't belong to one.

Here's a piece from respectable Pew on pray groups. HIllary is a Methodist so it makes sense she with a Methodist pray group.

http://pewforum.org/news/display.php?NewsID=2807

Adrienne Grey

Looks like I won't be renewing my United Professionals membership. Not that it's been worth a hill of beans anyway.

Funny how Obama brings out the visiousness in people you thought were cool.

*****A

Chickensh*tEagle

roger: "the fetus reaches out of the uterus and grabs the surgeons finger."

Actually, that is in the story of the April 4, 2007 episode of "House." It's fiction. You do understand the concept of "fiction," don't you?

"what do you see."

I see a still photo of a fetal hand touching a gloved finger, or vice versa. There's no way to tell from that picture which way it happened.

"if millions of women in asia are having abortions to prevent girls from being born..."

If that concerns you so much, it would be more to to the point for you to find some India- and China-based discussion boards and speak directly to the Indians and Chinese.

"indeed that is what is important. the thread. the blessed thread."

It would seem, then, that you intend to make EVERY thread in this blog about abortion. Sorry, I'm not going to help you do that anymore.

roger

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Armas

" The photograph was taken during a pioneering surgical procedure undertaken on August 19, 1999 to fix the spina bifida lesion of a 21-week-old fetus in the womb. The operation was performed by a surgical team at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. The team, Dr. Joseph Bruner and Dr. Noel Tulipan, had been developing a technique for correcting certain fetal problems in mid-pregnancy. Their procedure involved temporarily opening the uterus, draining the amniotic fluid, partially extracting and performing surgery on the tiny fetus, then restoring the fetus to the uterus back inside the mother. "

roger

chickenshit: " Actually, that is in the story of the April 4, 2007 episode of "House." It's fiction. You do understand the concept of "fiction," don't you? "

" Cultural References
The event has been referenced in two medical TV series; the drama House, in the episode Fetal Position and the sitcom Scrubs, in the episode My Road to Nowhere. "

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Armas

yes i know what fiction is.

Chickensh*tEagle

From your Wikipedia link:

"However the surgeon later stated that Samuel and his mother, Julie, were under anesthesia and could not move. 'The baby did not reach out,' Dr Bruner said. 'The baby was anesthetized. The baby was not aware of what was going on.'

"He also stated, 'Depending on your political point of view, this is either Samuel Armas reaching out of the uterus and touching the finger of a fellow human, or it’s me pulling his hand out of the uterus … which is what I did.'"

Have a nice rest-of-the-thread, roger.

Anarcissie

Chickensh*tEagle: '... It would seem, then, that you intend to make EVERY thread in this blog about abortion. Sorry, I'm not going to help you do that anymore.'

It's called spamming. The basic theory behind it is that whatever the writer thinks about is more important than anything anyone else ever thinks about. It's why Usenet readers and blogging software have to have filters and kill files.

Chickensh*tEagle

Anarcissie, what we need is a support group for recovering enablers. :-(

Sarah Trapnell

When a candidate and his supporters have no real answer to a basic campaign problem, and their response is not, "I/my candidate did something wrong," you know he/they are in trouble.

When people like B. Ehrenreich then attack the opposing candidate as somehow being "worse" on the issue, you know they are grasping at straws. It's just a really weak response.

Obama's speech on race was good in general, but he never admitted in particular what his true failure was in the case of Pastor Wright.

Obama's problem is that he, an educated and successful black man, never stood up to the ignorant conspiracy theories and racial prejudice that his pastor spewed to an audience, some of whom could not tell the difference between past and present truths. For example, the US govt DID allow black people infected with syphilis to go untreated two generations ago. The US govt, however, DID NOT introduce HIV into the black community to kill it off. Obama knows that, but not all of the parishioners do. Such notions stoke black ignorance and hinder black self help.

I suspect Obama stayed quiet, because it was easier to do so then risk what Bill Cosby has done -- call black people out for ignorance and self-defeating behavior and ideas. Yet it was Obama's responsibility to share his insights, his gifts with his fellow parishioners and to disagree publically with his pastor. Instead, he took the good that Pastor Wright offered without repudiating the bad.

Because Obama could. He cold skate on that frozen and outdated pond of black resentment, one that so many affluent blacks use to keep their street cred while rising up in a society that supposedly still conspires to keep blacks down.

This hypocrisy by black elites like Obama works, so long as those sympathetic to black Americans give the elites a pass on this. But it stops working, as most hypocrisy does, when the sunshine of public scrutiny appears.

Obama failed on this test of courage, truth, and judgment for almost twenty years.

That failure doesn't mean you can't vote for him. But it does mean that people like Barbara Ehrenreich and the Obamas themselves need to own up to the failure before asking the rest of us to move on to other topics and issues.

roger

" The basic theory behind it is that whatever the writer thinks about is more important than anything anyone else ever thinks about. "

no i was responding to comments made by you, chickenshit, brian and chris. abortion is not the preventive measure for cannibalism nor the answer to irresponsible human breeding as brian insisted three days ago. abortion providers do not relieve the public of subjugation by our lords and masters but rather are the cause of much misery. this notion that the fetus is not a vulnerable population is misplaced.

my interpretation of the photograph of the surgery at vanderbilt was wrong. i should have researched the circumstances better and i am embarrassed at my clumsiness.

Anarcissie

Sarah Trapnell: '... I suspect Obama stayed quiet ....'

How do you know he stayed quiet? He might have told hundreds or thousands of people that the HIV conspiracy story was a crock. No one would pay much attention, would they? People that believe that it's a crock would think, "Of course", and people that believed the theory of conspiracy are used to being contradicted and in any case most of the time no one else cares what they think -- they are not respectable. So it's not something which would be widely reported. Of course you may have followed him around daily, I don't know.

As for Black resentment, I don't know if it's outdated. Every time I start thinking race stuff is over something new happens to show that it isn't. The efforts of the Clintons to "Blackify" Obama are a case in point. Obama is not allowed to have an ordinary ethnic heritage, like someone whose grandparents came from Ireland, let us say. His ancestry is an _issue_. I don't think this is something which can be attributed solely to Obama, although he has picked up the ball and run with it rather admirably at times.

In any case I don't see frozen Black rage and resentment as being very useful to his political career, which depends largely on appealing to White people and assuaging their fear that Black people hate them.

Brian

How do Hillary, Barak and John do their jobs as United States Senators with all their campaigning around? That alone would be a grueling 24 hour 7 day a week job when you consider all the travel and lodging arrangements. Are we paying their Senate salaries and perks, part of their staff's salaries and bills, etc while they neglect their Senate duties so blatantly? No wonder congress is frozen in time and can't get anything done. Talk about leaden feet, yet the three candidates are dancing all over the place and no doubt working long hours into the night for a future job, not on the current one they were elected to do. One of the more blatant things I have seen so publically done. Its not right to use the Senate as a launching pad for the presidency and certainly Hillary and Barak have done so without a doubt. You can just read their roadmap. Its harder to make the same case about McCain of the past as he's been in the Senate so long he has done some work there but I can't really get the same sense of Hillary or Barak doing any "work" there.

Anarcissie

Never mind, Brian. They'd just get up to no good.

marco belli

“Personal, trained pigs.”
Gary Aldrich reported that as America’s First Lady, “[Hillary] had a clear dislike for the agents (U.S. Secret Service), bordering on hatred… Two Secret Service agents heard Hillary’s daughter Chelsea refer to them as ‘personal, trained pigs’ … The agent on the detail tried to scold Chelsea for such disrespect. He told her … he believed that her father, the president, would be shocked if he heard what she had just said to her friends. Chelsea’s response? ‘I don’t think so. That’s what my parents call you’ ” (Unlimited Access, p. 90).AND IF YOU THINK BILL IS A SAINT PLEASE READ ON:
“What’s all the fuss about; it was just a g*dd*mn mother-f*cking pig.”
Governor Bill Clinton’s reaction upon seeing all the people at a funeral for a black state trooper killed in the line of duty, as retold by former bodyguard Larry Patterson during an audiotape interview with Newsmax. The “First Black President” later apologized, but only after being chastised by his security guards (Newsmax Media, 2002).

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