Religious Liberty, A License to Discriminate?

Conservative blogosphere is full of anger about how the Catholic Church will be required to provide birth control in spite of it being labeled as sin.  There is resistance to treating gays equally because it violates a religious tenet.

Being required to do something that violates a religious tenet is called a burden in legal language.  The concept of burden competes with the concept of discrimination.  For example,  a landlord who believes mixed race couples are sinning would find his burden eliminated if he could refuse to rent to them.

Slavery and followed by segregation had religious justification.  When courts ruled against segregation, they established discrimination as more important than burden.  So it is today.

Catholic Bishops and conservative Protestants want to make burden the higher of the two.  But, the Amercian public has seen discrimination and didn’t like it.

Anti discrimination has a win win characteristic absent in burden.  We have seen economic and social benefits accrue to society at large from the rise of those who were discriminated against.  Black scholars, musians and atheletes would not have contributed as much to our general enjoyment and betterment in a bygone era.

Burden has a hole-in-the bucket problem.  Claims of burden are infinite–new religions are invented every year.  It could well be a tsunami of burden is coming. It’s sibling, discrimination will be nearby.

Competition between burden and discrimination continues. To raise the status of burden is to take us backwards.

That would be a mistake.

P. S.  I’m indebted to Attorney Bob Ritter for this topic.

 

Avatar of Jon Lindgren

About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. There is more about me at Wikipedia.com.
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79 Responses to Religious Liberty, A License to Discriminate?

  1. entech says:

    Churches should do what they want, the rest of the universe should do what it is told.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      entech 12:50 I’ve wondered, if all religions in the world could take over their governments, would ethnic cleansing be even more common. Seems like the seeds of it are almost always there in faiths.

      • Wanna B Sure says:

        Seems to work like that in Africa today.
        I don’t think all the religions in the world could take over, as they couldn’t agree as to who is in charge, and who must go.
        Then there are different ethnic religious groups that loose too. Seems that diamonds, water, and oil are the inspirational aspect there.

        • entech says:

          … who is in charge, and who must go. I don’t think that part ever changes, from the viewpoint of those in charge, or, have aspirations to be in charge it is always a case of, “WE are in charge, and those who must go is always THE OTHER”. And ‘the other’ must always be denigrated, despised and made somehow less than human, then from the normative view you can do anything to them with moral justification and impunity.

          Take the general attitude to same sex attraction in the Christian community, at least as reflected by so many posters on this forum.
          Although this topic concentrates on Christians (and applying it to other religious groups) they are not alone the communist regimes did the same, they created a sub human category called “class traitors”, with the same result. This was not because they were atheists, or did it in the name of atheism, it was because they alone knew the truth and they were in charge, to enhance your inchargeness (if that is not a word it should be) you need something lesser, you need “the other”.

          Every time that someone says anything about the Christians being less than perfect out comes the old canards, THEY (choose your favourite or clump them up) did worse, as if this some exonerates the Christian. Debaters like Dinesh D’Souza are the worst, if only because as professionals they should know better, I contend they do know better which makes them dishonest, they come very close to invoking the tu quoque fallacy as a debating device. That this comes up so often on this forum is an indication of faith conquers logic.

  2. Henry says:

    Jon: “Slavery and segregation had religious justification. When courts ruled against them, they established discrimination as more important than burden.”

    Not sure that “courts ruled against [slavery].” The last court case I know of with significant effect was Dred Scott v. Sanford. The result of that case was for slavery in the court’s absolute brilliance. The military ruled against slavery.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Henry 2:27 Courts and slavery–you’re right, the slavery issue probably had more to do with the Civil War than courts. I changed the blog.

      • Wanna B Sure says:

        Just recently, there was a program on PBS that featured “Slavery by Anothere Name”. They called it PEONAGE.
        Forced labor system lasting from the end of the civil war up to WW2. Resubjigation, using vagrancy, loitering, changing jobs, even talking too loud in public. When someone needed cheap help in the south, or labor was short, the word was put out to corrupt officials, and many evidently were set up, fined, and jailed until they could pay the fine. They had to work off the fine. some over a year or more. I had never heard of it before, but it apparently was common in the South. Slavery was ended, but a new, and even more sinister form replaced it.You should be able to find it.

        • Wanna B Sure says:

          PS–no religious factor, only free labor and greed.

        • Wanna B Sure says:

          Over the years I have heard words like “They used the Bible to justify slavery”. I am sure they did, but I have been convinced that it was not the Bible first, rather slavery first, then Bible mining to justify it after the fact. Slavery was primarily a source of low cost labor, at a time when mechanical technology was primitive at best. Africa was a good,(if I may use that word), source of that non-technological energy. Something not quite similar happened with the Chinese in the West with the railroad building, and other projects. I have been convinced that the promoters of slavery at the time knew deep down the evil contained in it, but went shopping in the Bible to take out of context verses to support it to aswage their conciences, and the general public. They were self dilusioned in the correctness of it, and it took on a life of it’s own. Slavery then became an institutionalized horror, based on business/greed needs, and supported by the Bible, after the fact.
          With peonage, I have not seen any attempt to even justify it Biblically.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Wanna 2:32 ..is was not the Bible first, rather slavery first, then Bible mining to justify it after the fact.”

            I would guess you are correct. The same would likely be true for segregation.

            It’s my contention it is also true today for most Christian-generated policies. This includes that women should not hold church offices, gays should not marry, birth control and abortion. Always has been, always, so it seems will be.

            That is the problem with the burden concept. People can use the Bible, because ligitmizes the bizarre, to justify their inherent prejudices, and if burden ranks over prejuice, the cruel notions people take from the Bible are institutionalized.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            The “burdon” need not be. It is a self imposed “burdon,” not shared or accepted by all, and consequently, not imposed by all to all.
            The “burdons” of which you speak are a mere distraction to the central issue which gets lost in the dust/confusion. And gives excuse to reject that central issue.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Jon; Those “burdons”,(and there are a few), are just fly-specks on the mirror through you see through darkly, but only if you allow them to be.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Wanna 8:14 “It is a self imposed “burdon” not shared or accepted by all, and consequently, not imposed by all to all.”

            I agree with that. Nevertheless, I’m referring to the legal concept of burdon, not one I made up. The term is used in Amendment #3 on the upcoming ND Primary election. It has been used in several other states.

            It is obviously not a “fly-speck” to the people who gather tens of thousands of names to put it on the ballot. But, neither is it something that should be treated as more important than the discrimination that one can expect if the burden concept trumps equal opportunity for all.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Again I see we are talking past each other. I was referring to the sacred, you are referring to the secular. My understanding was that you had included it into the sacred. It works for the secular, but not the sacred.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Wanna 8:45 “I was referring to the sacred, you are referring to the secular.”

            I not sure if we are talking past one another or being selective for our own purposes. The term “burden has a meaning in law. It’s origin is in the secular realm. It’s about nothing else.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Jon; The rub comes when the secular intrudes into the sacred, and some wish to inject the sacred into the secular. There are extremists on both sides of this argument, and they are both mis-guided, and have lost sight of the seperation/distinction for their own personal purposes.
            The last paragraph of your 7:41 left me with the impression of a cross-over. while at the same time I agree, I am very wary of confusing the two, and it is easy to do even unintentionally. Thanks.

          • entech says:

            Burdon, the only definition I have been able to find is that it is a Pilgrims Staff. Presumably this is supposed to be a help not a hindrance or a burden.

            I would like to see Wanna’s argument rendered into plain English, I am sure there is meaning somewhere.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            So I mis-spelled burden. Thinking you would have understood intent. We ALL have done it. Including you David. Not an excuse for your not understanding. Read S-L-O-W-L-Y if you must.

          • entech says:

            Actually I only brought it up because it was in quotes and thus attracting attention and some possible significance. This is why I checked alternate meanings.
            I frequently make spelling and grammatical errors, somehow seems to be part of blogging. I am sure you would have noticed that we all say things we would never write and write things we would never say, Almost as print and verbal were different versions of the same language.

            Slowly indeed, I invite you to consider that you are starting to get a little insulting and deliberately so, especially in the other stream, this is the beginning of desperation and failure. Smug may not be becoming to me, again, I invite you to consider.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Your understanding of “insulting” is not intended, only a manifestation of frustration with your “color blindness”. I’ve tried to ‘splain, but you won’t—or can’t– listen. Now be a good little johnny, and go and compensate.

  3. Doubtful says:

    As usual Jon finds religion to be the root cause of all evil. Just leave religion out of it and you get “Liberty, A License to Discriminate?” which is the heart of the matter. That does not mean that I approve of discrimination. It means that the simplistic use of rule of law (backed by armed police) to fight discrimination restricts freedoms and that is a wrong also.

    Wanna B. Sure is correct about the use of the Bible to defend existing behavior.

  4. Bob says:

    I frankly think the crux of the problem is the Abrahamic texts as it concerns people enslaving other humans because of religious justification.
    The bible does say gays are wrong just for being gay, and slavery is acceptable.

    And of course, the government (your masters), another word for religion, promotes slavery of its sheep too.

    • Wanna B Sure says:

      And slavery was a common practice use by paralell cultures not even related to those familiar with those “Abrahamic texts”, before, during, and after their creation.

      • Wanna B Sure says:

        See “history of slavery” for documentation.

        • Bob says:

          This explains your Statist enslavement, Wanna.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6IZP3yRJ9I

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Bobbie-Bobbie-Bobbie. Where ever did you come to that conclusion. All you do is assume without any understanding, and at the same time reveal just how dangerous your ignorance can be. Yes, your brand of anarchism is nothing more than chaos .I have said nothing about what your cute little u-tube cartoon claims to be against. Mine isn’t the political. Yours is all over the place, and you have no concept of unintended consequences. Yours is more dangerous in the long run, and has proven to be in the past. Yours has never shown a solution, only pesky troublemakers as was revealed in the Spainish revolution, and in commons areas with the 1%’ers recently. Chaos only. Chaos only, You are a delusional mis-fit.

          • entech says:

            10:01 read this rant of yours in light of the rest of my discussion. to quoque, and, yes, tu quoque is a form of ad hominem.

      • entech says:

        I think that you have just used the genetic fallacy.

        • Wanna B Sure says:

          Not in the slightest. Didn’t even begin to imply a genetic predisposition. Only a historic fact of slavery happening in virtually every culture from ancient history forward. Unless you are referring to an admission of the result of original sin. Still, that isn’t a “genetic” probability.

          • entech says:

            Genetic is used differently in this sense, nothing to do with Mendel.

            And slavery was a common practice use by paralell cultures not even related to those familiar with those “Abrahamic texts”, before, during, and after their creation.

            We start with relevance, none:
            Hebrews drank water, so did Sumerians :- relevance none.
            Hebrews used slave, so did many others :- relevance none.

            When used in defence of a Biblical source, it seems to exonerate because others did it.
            This is close to the essence of the genetic fallacy. So spreading the blame is also a little tu quoque

            I have to be very careful of this myself, I often point out that there are more systems of belief than your Trinitarian, they can’t all be right. If I were to follow this and say that it follows that they are all wrong – I would be guilty. I am guilty of a different logical ‘sin’, I don’t believe it because it seem so incredible. (Don’t believe Because it is unbelievable? could really go to town with that one)

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            David; I didn’t use the model of your definition of the genetic fallacy. This was not my entent, nor was it an attempt to share/spread the blame just to take the pressure off. History merely shows that slavery was common in virtually all ancient cultures, before, during, and after the “Abrahamic texts”. Including those who practiced the abrahamic religions. Again see Wiki-history of slavery, and go through all the time periods.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Bob seemed to say that the Abrahamic texts were to blame for slavery, yet the Hammerabi Code references it earlier. Thus the paralells.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            See Bob”s 2:46

          • entech says:

            That history shows enslaving other human beings was commonplace does not make it right.

            A lot of people use the argument that you can’t have absolute morality without God. In this case I think it shows that you cannot have absolute morality with God. As a non-believer in your Trinity I say that slavery is objectively wrong under all and any circumstances. Your Bible is wrong about this, it is not without error. Your Bible is, in parts, immoral.

            Your whole 12:58 is incoherent. … nor was it an attempt to share/spread the blame just to take the pressure off. Bit like saying I wasn’t trying to win. just avoid losing.
            AGAIN the history of slavery cannot have any relevance to the rights and wrongs of the use of religious reasoning to justify the use of slaves in colonial America, or lessen the shame of the British traders who did it purely for profit. Horrific as it was commercial justification is at least honest, didn’t try to justify “saving the heathens for heaven”, the various churches have committed many crimes in the name of “it is for your own good” – “We will put you through torment and burn you now, because we believe it will save you from torment and burning”. It all comes from the same failed imagination and strange desire to dominate or be subjugated, keep it in the church closet.

            Sorry for the rant but sometimes the sanctimonious nonsense of it all is so depressing, worse some actually want it to continue forever.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Wow! ! ! What part of a simple historic observation can’t you understand. You seem to imply that I approve of slavery, which I don’t under any situation. Never said I did. The remainder of what you said is by your own words a rant, and a dislocated one at that. The word “slave” in some contexts is more servant than slave in the context of the cotton pickin South. Some “slaves” were considered a part of the household. Again more like servants. Not necessarily the “Lift that barge, tote the bail, get a little drunk, and you land in jail.” Sometimes, I’m sure you will agree that translations and interpretations can be confusing using ancient terminology with today’s sensitivities. Your strident application of hyperliteralism has clouded your ability to look at this subject objectively. Frankly, I am disapointed in your narrow application. And speculation. Now that being said, let me interate the fact that I believe all forced slavery is evil from the start, as was Peonage after the Civil War, and even all the subtle abuses that occoured up to and past the civil rights movement. I don’t know how I could be more clear, and frankly I am getting tired of this repeated nonsense. Let me suggest you get off your high horse just once and simply listen for a change. Then understand what has been said.

          • entech says:

            Not spread the blame just take the pressure off.. It can’t be done the words speak for themselves. The Hebrew bible approves of slavery. The end.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            entech 2:47 “The Hebrew bible approves of slavery. The end.”

            A lance though the heart. Well done, warrior.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            An article this morning about yours truly and some who comment here:

            http://www.inforum.com/event/article/id/359176/

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Daddy, are we there yet? Daddy, are we there yet? Daddy are we there yet? Daddy are we there yet? Daddy are we there yet? Same technique., and still out of context.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            In hermeneutics; Hyper Historical crytical, asks; (“how can this be)” vs. Historical grammatical critical (which includes contex) asks; ( “what does this mean”.) The former is your problem.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            A lance through the heart of honesty.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Ask a Hebrew.

          • entech says:

            Wanna 1:56 Amazing piece of attempted justification, You get so angry and abusive when you know you are wrong. So sad, you used to be quite cogent a few months ago.

            To simplify and then say no more:
            Sub topic – slavery.
            Bob says: problem is Bible gives justification for slavery – true
            You say : common practice – true but irrelevant
            I say : It is no defence to say others do it too, did it first, did it worse etc. whole family of fallacies here.
            You indicate : not aware of that particular definition, fair enough.
            You continue : Not trying to share the blame just relieve the pressure, dubious at best, what pressure do you perceive if there is not some blame to share?
            You continue : History shows it was widespread – starting to go in circles.
            You say : Bob “seems” to indicate the Bile is to blame, not so, the Bible justifies was the statement.
            I explain : What others do is irrelevant, your text supports slavery. History does not make it OK. it is wrong.
            You : Imply that I am assuming your position – not so, I would actually assume that you would be opposed to slavery. Irrelevant to the argument.
            You : start to get a bit abusive and obviously angry
            Me : trying to be brief for a change – This all started with Bob saying there was support and justification for slavery, this has not been refuted or even addressed – so I try for a final statement – The Hebrew bible approves of slavery. The end.
            Jon : agrees the simple proposition is that the Bible approves slavery and is not refuted.
            You : consecutive mini posts displaying peek and an ability to face facts.

            Well I am just back from lunch, and if you see this when it is submitted it will be a little after midnight your time, so give some thought, sleep on it and face reality.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Nicely maped out, but you still did not get the point. I suppose you never will. A misunderstanding? Could be. A willfull resistance to understand? most likely. Go buy a shorter horse, and on the way , get a book on reading comprehension.

          • entech says:

            In that case whatever you say. Nothing could compete with your perfect knowledge.

            If you were not so far removed from reality you would be wrong, this is not even wrong.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Entech; Have you had a chance to ask a Hebrew about the Hebrew Bible? Acording to some, it is all metaphore. You will get the answer you want by being selective in whom you ask. I don’t know why you put so much gravity to it, as you discount it anyway. I need not even bring up the NT, with the continuity and relationship, yet a new covenant not fully revealed in the OT. You have shown a knowlege, but absence of perspecuity in this area in the past. Not surprising to see it continue.
            See my thingie on hermeneutics. Do some research, and learn. Smug is not becoming to you.

          • entech says:

            I cannot believe the lengths you go to avoid the simple fact that in this case you are wrong. The simple proposition was that Bob said slavery was justified in the Bible. This is all, even Ray Comfort agrees
            There is no denying it — the Bible not only condones slavery, it encourages it, tells owners how to treat their slaves, and even instructs owners on what they are to do if their slave needs punishment.
            The defenders guide for life’s toughest questions.

            You say it was widespread, I say that is irrelevant.

            Everything else your wriggling and squirming is also irrelevant to the topic. Humour me, what is your point.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            It has been said. Evidently I should have stated so emphatically in capital letters. I already said there was slavery in the OT. Remember the “paralells”? Only that it wasn’t ALWAYS in the same form of pre-Civil War slavery, or post war peonism.
            Teacher–Johnny, what is this color?
            Johnny–grey
            Teacher–No, it is green.
            Teacher–What is this color?
            Johnny–blue.
            Teacher–No, it is pink.
            Problem—Little Johnny is color blind, the teacher didn’t realize it.
            Solution–Once the teacher saw the problem, she tried to help little Johnny understand the problem. Once Johnny understood, he moved on and learned to compensate without thinking he was right and everyone else was wrong. Johnny was a good boy, The teacher was thankfull, and everybody lived happily ever after.

          • entech says:

            1:16 Be a good little Johnny.
            1:40 Rambling story about a colour blind Johnny.
            You seem to have some kind of messiah complex, save the world if only they would listen. You keep explaining but we reject your explanation, must be frustrating that we don’t pick up the truth of your obscure parables.

            It is quite well known that much gets lost in translation, in some circumstances servant and slave can be interchangeable, but I still fail to see the relevance of, say, Sumerian or Egyptian practice. Even Ray Comfort can understand.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Not frustrating “because you can’t pick up on the truth”, that is not my point. You have completely lost the line of thought I presented, and I believe I was quite clear. It could be that I provided too much information at various posts, and you got lost. I must remember to keep it simple in the future. Sorry. Whatever the case, I’m not going back and re-explain.

          • entech says:

            10:49 and I believe I was quite clear that is OK. you believe many things, most of them are wrong.

            Glad you are not going to explain, because I submit, whatever you meant is obviously going to be true. You are too obscure and I am obviously too obtuse.
            Ray comforts schtick is called The Way of the Master, pity it is taken it would be a good one for you.

            Last post on this topic, so if you want your usual last word, make it a good one – promise no reply.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Now you claim I’m wrong. That’s just fine, I don’t mind. I expect that on an atheistic blog site. You aren’t the first, only or the best advocate of your non-cause I have run into. This medium though is difficult to navigate compaired to a face-on conversation. Tangents pop up, and thought lines are not completed fully, are left unresolved. I suspect some of those tangents are presented to confuse, and go off topic. Some are just silly. You may consider the same, but naturally would due to non-completion. I also understand why you consider my position/s” obscure”. Interesting though, that which you accuse, is the same as your own, Pots and kettles. Sort of like a couple arguing on how to get to a spot on the other side of the country. One has the map, the other refuses to use it. It is an old map. New detours are not in it. It is not to be considered reliable by the one without the map. The one without the map knows there is a destination, has never been there, and refuses to ask for directions, considers any too obscure, or invalid. But he is more right than the other. Then he accuses the map bearer of being sick, (“pathos”). While at the same time, the map bearer points out a particular landmark, and the other looks in a different direction, and says it’s not it. Let me out, and walk so you can go your merry way. There are no washed out bridges ahead, there are no cliffs to be aware of, and the road is smooth and beautiful. There is only–no. I’m sure this is too convoluted for you, but so is anything else I’ve said. Amazing for someone who is so adroit in philosophical gymnastics. Stop at Omar’s gas station and use his map. The four points of the compas are all question marks, but is sounds good.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Sorry—correction—”but IT sounds good”.

  5. Bob says:

    See religious governments for “history of slavery” Wanna 3:43

    Government, is just another name for religion. Both want to control you.

  6. Bob says:

    Dear Statist Friends:

    I know, I know. You’re already objecting to my letter. You don’t like the label “statist.” You don’t think of yourselves as worshipping government; rather, you think of yourselves as simply wanting to help people, with government being your preferred means to achieve what is usually a very worthy end. “Statist,” you say, is a loaded term—a pejorative that suggests more than you’re willing to publicly admit.

    Well, let’s wait and see how the term stacks up after you’ve read my whole letter and answered its questions. If you have any doubt about whether this missive is directed at you, let me clarify to whom I am writing. If you’re among those many people who spend most of their time and energy advocating a litany of proposals for expanded government action, and little or no time recommending offsetting reductions in State power, then this letter has indeed found its mark.

    You clever guys are always coming up with new schemes for government to do this or that, to address this issue or solve that problem, or fill some need somewhere. You get us limited-government people bogged down in the minutiae of how your proposed programs are likely to work (or not work), and while we’re doing the technical homework you seldom do, you demonize us as heartless number crunchers who don’t care about people.

    Sometimes we all get so caught up in the particulars that we ignore the big picture. I propose that we step back for a moment. Put aside your endless list of things for government to do and focus on the whole package. I need some thoughtful answers to some questions that maybe, just maybe, you’ve never thought much about because you’ve been too wrapped up in the program du jour.

    At the start of the 1900s government at all levels in America claimed about 5 percent of personal income. A hundred years later it takes more than 40 percent—up by a factor of eight. So my first questions to you are these: Why is this not enough? How much do you want? Fifty percent? Seventy percent? Do you want all of it? To what extent do you believe a person is entitled to what he (or she) has earned?

    I want specifics. Like millions of Americans planning for their retirements or their children’s college educations, I need to know. I’ve already sacrificed a lot of plans to pay your bills, but if you’re aiming for more, I’m going to have to significantly curtail my charitable giving, my discretionary spending, my saving for a rainy day, my future vacations, and perhaps some other worthwhile things.

    I know what you’re thinking: “There you go again, you selfish character. We’re concerned about all the people’s needs and you’re only interested in your own bank account.”

    But who is really focused on dollars and cents here, you or I?

    Why is it that if I disagree with your means, you almost always assume I oppose your ends? I want people to eat well, live long and healthy lives, get the prescription drugs and health care they need, etc., etc., just like you. But I happen to think there are more creative and voluntary ways to get the job done than robbing Peter to pay Paul through the force of government. Why don’t you show some confidence in your fellow citizens and assume that they can solve problems without you?

    We’re not ignorant and helpless, in spite of your many poorly performing government schools and our having to scrape by with a little more than half of what we earn. In fact, give us credit for managing to do some pretty amazing things even after you take your 40 percent cut—things like feeding and clothing and housing more people at higher levels than any socialized society has ever even dreamed of.

    What Have You Learned?

    This raises a whole series of related questions about how you see the nature of government and what you’ve learned, if anything, from our collective experiences with it. I see the ideal government as America’s founders did—in the words attributed to Washington, a “dangerous servant” employing legalized force for the purpose of preserving individual liberties. As such, it is charged with deterring violence and fraud and keeping itself small, limited, and efficient. How can you profess allegiance to peace and nonviolence and at the same time call for so much forcible redistribution?

    Don’t invoke democracy unless you’re prepared to explain why might —in the form of superior numbers—makes right. Of course, I want the governed to have a big say in whatever government we have, but unlike you I have no illusions about any act being a legitimate function of government if its political supporters are blessed by 50 percent plus one of those who bother to show up at the polls. Give me something deeper than that, or I’ll round up a majority posse to come and rightfully claim whatever we want of yours.

    Why is it that you statists never seem to learn anything about government? You see almost any shortcoming in the marketplace as a reason for government to get bigger, but you rarely see any shortcoming in government as a reason for it to get smaller. In fact I wonder at times if you are honestly capable of identifying shortcomings of government at all! Do we really have to give you an encyclopedia of broken promises, failed programs, and wasted billions to get your attention? Do we have to recite all the workers’ paradises that never materialized, the flashy programs that fizzled, the problems government was supposed to solve but only managed into expensive perpetuity?

    Where, by the way, do you think wealth comes from in the first place? I know you’re fond of collecting it and laundering it through bureaucracies—“feeding the sparrows through the horses,” as my grandfather once put it—but tell me honestly how you think it initially comes into being. Come on, now. You can say it: private initiative.

    I’ve asked a lot of questions here, I know. But you have to understand that you’re asking an awful lot more in blood, sweat, tears, and treasure from the rest of us every time you pile on more government without lightening any of the previous load. If anything I’ve asked prompts you to rethink your premises and place some new restraints on the reach of the State, then maybe the statist label doesn’t apply to you. In that case, you can look forward to devoting more of your energies to actually solving problems instead of just talking about them, and liberating people instead of enslaving them.

    Sincerely,

    Lawrence W. Reed

  7. Bob says:

    Whatever Wanna, then keep your two religions, Statism and whatever the other one is, christianity?

    • Wanna B Sure says:

      If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. All I see from you is comment/opinion/complaint without a real implementible solution or procedure.
      If you don’t like what you see, get involved internally, and work for change. Some of what you say I can agree with, but Protests and boycots backed up with hyperbole is just about as useless as tits on a boar.

      • Bob says:

        Wanna 10:47 I am doing what I can do. Are you?
        I’m doing it by not playing their game, not voting or begging for my freedom, freedoms I already inherently have by just being alive, from the Statist clergy called politicians. Trying to pay as little taxes as possible so I don’t support their Statist agendas like war on muslims to steal their oil, and kill our kids. I don’t put my kids in the Statist indoctrination churches, called government schools. I try educate as many people as I can about the evil’s of the religion called Statism. And lots more.

        • Wanna B Sure says:

          So your are reactive, not proactive. A disgruntled isolationist. No organization, no networking, only U-Tube, and the internet. A typical anarchist. Even the Muslim terrorists have more than that, and I’m not even counting their book.

  8. Bob says:

    Well…I tried. And if Jon doesn’t mind, I’ll keep trying to discuss, debate, and educate about the evils of religion, one of which is Statism.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Bob 11:21 “And if Jon doesn’t mind.”

      The floor is yours, and everyone else’s. We’re all here to talk.

      • entech says:

        Love this stuff Jon. Reminds me of the Rolling Stones and Marianne Faithful, The second line of “As tears go by” is “I sit and watch as children play”; in my case it is tears of laughter.

        • Bob says:

          entech 12:00
          I just want to make sure I’m not going over the parameters for this blog. I don’t think its hurts to ask.

          • entech says:

            Sorry Bob, didn’t notice your post till now. Not laughing at you, you are just being what you always are, Bob.
            The humorous part is the almost pathological reaction you always get from Wanna,

  9. Bob says:

    Thanks, Jon. :)

  10. Bob says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ao0k9qDsOvs

    Here’s a great 3 minute video about slavery and the bible and discrimination in the bible.

  11. Bob says:

    At least I don’t believe in fairytales as true, entech 4:26, now that’s delusional.

    And, I must have struck a cord with you recently with my anti-statism. Are you one of the governmental’s religious clergy? A politician? Or some other kind of statist?

    You are reacting to me same as the other clergy do. Because I attack their dogma, suddenly I’M the crazy one.

    Doesn’t surpirse me.

  12. Bob says:

    For entech 4:26 I suspect this is the real reason you accuse me of being pathological. You had to come at me sideways, through my passionate anti-theist rebutals and comments toward the faithheads on this blog. But…I’m in good company with my crazyness.

    The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world,
    are the ones who do.
    Apple advertising campaign, “Think Different,” 1997

    From our earliest experiences, we are taught to respect authority. This teaching continues through the socializing experience of our schooling, and its value is proven in the success that people achieve in their careers by learning to “go along to get along.” Peer pressure and the media reinforce the lesson every day. It’s hardly surprising that those who develop an anti-authoritarian attitude are considered somewhat outside the mainstream of conventional society.

    Bruce Levine, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist known as somewhat of an anti-authoritarian himself. He recently published an interesting piece at Mad in America examining the relationship between the mental health profession and anti-authoritarians. He begins by noting a couple of interesting conclusions he’s drawn during his career.
    In my career as a psychologist, I have talked with hundreds of people previously diagnosed by other professionals with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), anxiety disorder (AD) and other psychiatric illnesses, and I am struck by (1) how many of those diagnosed are essentially anti-authoritarians, and (2) how those professionals who have diagnosed them are not.
    He follows with a definition of the anti-authoritarian personality.
    Anti-authoritarians question whether an authority is a legitimate one before taking that authority seriously. Evaluating the legitimacy of authorities includes assessing whether or not authorities actually know what they are talking about, are honest, and care about those people who are respecting their authority. And when anti-authoritarians assess an authority to be illegitimate, they challenge and resist that authority—sometimes aggressively and sometimes passive-aggressively, sometimes wisely and sometimes not.
    Dr. Levine then points out that the path to becoming a psychologist or psychiatrist requires clearing any number of hurdles put in place by the medical establishment, and that those hurdles overwhelmingly select for those who are deferential to authority. This parallels my earlier commentary, George Carlin – Wrong About Politicians, wherein I argued that politicians are not a subset of the general population, but consist overwhelmingly of those people with a specific worldview and personality — one that almost always includes a high level of respect for authority.
    Gaining acceptance into graduate school or medical school and achieving a PhD or MD and becoming a psychologist or psychiatrist means jumping through many hoops, all of which require much behavioral and attentional compliance to authorities, even to those authorities that one lacks respect for. The selection and socialization of mental health professionals tends to breed out many anti-authoritarians.
    He then goes on to explain that “degrees and credentials are primarily badges of compliance,” and that attaining certification means many years of conforming to the demands of authorities. Naturally, when someone with that worldview is challenged by someone who tends to question authority, the collision of worldviews can lead to only one conclusion; the other guy must be the one that’s nuts.
    I have found that most psychologists, psychiatrists, and other mental health professionals are not only extraordinarily compliant with authorities but also unaware of the magnitude of their obedience. And it also has become clear to me that the anti-authoritarianism of their patients creates enormous anxiety for these professionals, and their anxiety fuels diagnoses and treatments.
    Naturally enough, since the professional is the one who respects the hierarchy of authority, his is the viewpoint that rules — at least within an hierarchical society. When he found himself labeled as having “issues with authority” as a grad student who was stepping slightly off a well-defined path he’d been faithfully trodding for years, he realized just how narrow the definition of normal had become.
    Psychologist Russell Barkley, one of mainstream mental health’s leading authorities on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), says that those afflicted with ADHD have deficits in what he calls “rule-governed behavior,” as they are less responsive to rules of established authorities and less sensitive to positive or negative consequences. Opposition defiant disorder (ODD) young people, according to mainstream mental health authorities, also have these so-called deficits in rule-governed behavior, and so it is extremely common for young people to have a “duel diagnosis” of ADHD and ODD.

    Do we really want to diagnose and medicate everyone with “deficits in rule-governed behavior”?
    He goes on to point out that as this attitude filters down to society in general, it becomes the “accepted wisdom.”
    Americans have been increasingly socialized to equate inattention, anger, anxiety, and immobilizing despair with a medical condition, and to seek medical treatment rather than political remedies. What better way to maintain the status quo than to view inattention, anger, anxiety, and depression as biochemical problems of those who are mentally ill rather than normal reactions to an increasingly authoritarian society.
    Finally, Dr. Levine points out that those in authority tend to view the anti-authoritarians as a problem to be solved rather than a resource to be mined.
    In every generation there will be authoritarians and anti-authoritarians. While it is unusual in American history for anti-authoritarians to take the kind of effective action that inspires others to successfully revolt, every once in a while a Tom Paine, Crazy Horse, or Malcolm X come along. So authoritarians financially marginalize those who buck the system, they criminalize anti-authoritarianism, they psychopathologize anti-authoritarians, and they market drugs for their “cure.”
    To end on a high note fueled by a bit of pop psychology, this Tireless Agorist believes that the fundamental truth of the human condition, and the best rebuttal to this accepted wisdom was concisely expressed in an advertisement that Apple first aired in 1997.

    Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them, because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.
    So thank you, Dr. Levine, for providing another perspective that confirms that while the establishment may consider me crazy, I just might be the lunatic the world is waiting for.

    …and that’s all I have to say about that.

  13. entech says:

    Read what I said again, I said I was not laughing at you, that you were being you.
    I was laughing at the over the top reaction you always get from Wanna.

  14. Bob says:

    Okay, entech 12:28 That’s fair. I’m sorry because I did misunderstand what you said after I just went back and re-read it.
    Actually…thank you for noticing how Wanna reacts to me. I REALLY appreciate it.
    Because I honestly don’t know what to say in response to his response to me. Its pretty off the wall and would perhaps be downright scary in person.
    Again, sorry…and thanks. :)

    • Wanna B Sure says:

      What is really scary is what you would implement to replace whatever. All I see presented are your definitions of “problems”, with no real solutions, other than chaos. And who would be in charge? More chaos. Theist, atheist, agnostic, or indifference. Makes no difference. You have no response because you have no solution. Only chaos, and this is what makes you angry , frustrated, and defensive.

  15. Bob says:

    “angry, frustrated, and defensive” Wanna 1:29

    Perhaps you’re mistaking these things for education?

    Hey, I have no problem with your faithheadness, nor your Statist religion. Unless it treads on my rights, which both do.

    • Wanna B Sure says:

      And your solution of the “statists” is………….In detail please. Which whould include a flow chart of goals/objectives, procedures to achieve same, those responsible/ in charge, implementation, and normalization, law changes, and cost projections, and the funding of those costs. One would also assume an enforcement/compliance division, and what to do with those not in agreement.

    • Wanna B Sure says:

      Would you create re education camps for those not in agreement with you, and who choosees the who?

  16. Bob says:

    I can’t tell you whether to follow a religion, or not to follow a religion, neither a supernaturalist religion, nor a Statist religion.
    Just keep both of them out of my face and life, please.

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