The next RNC Chairman should...

Step Away from the Religious Right

Combining politics and religion is not appropriate for a freedom loving party, or really any party in the US. There is nothing inherently wrong with religion, but combining it with politics hurts both religion and politics. This is a party that should support all sorts of self governing - not just economic. There are many parts of government that should be broken up and those responsibilities returned to churches, synagogues and non-profits.

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      • Reason commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Since I just found this thread and it isn't particularly old, I'll bite. Matt you claim that "For an amoeba to suddenly appear out of nowhere is statistically impossible. " I have degrees in statistics and physics and have worked as a statstician and can assure you that your comments would probably be as relevant regarding brain surgery as statistics. To the contrary, Matt, any good scientist/mathematician would tell you that the picture that is now emerging is that of countless points of chaos throught the universe that may or may not come into existance. Those that do would then evolve under more definable laws and expand in varying degrees as existing Universes. The how and why of this we still don't know, but the fact that we don't know doesn't provide proof for yours or any other man-made god as much as you would like it too. Emerging theories dealing in thermodynamics, holography, super symmetry and quantum mechanics make quite clear that we are only now beginning to understand the forces at work, thus to assume the current barrier of knowledge somehow constitutes proof of a divine architect is a far leap from logic, a leap that Feynman and Hawking have cautioned against even if you do have a couple of science classes under your belt. It is now accepted that our Universe has many dimensions, 10 or more, though the 7 or so that we are not familiar with are incredibly small and curled up, undetectable if not for the signature they leave upon our known reality. However, to ignore them for lack of stature would be a serious misstep as they likely have more to do with our perception of what is real and how things work than do the 3 dimensions we all grew up with. How might we assume that this Universe is the only one presently in existence, or that the known history of our Universe is the only history that exists? How might we assume that this Universe is anything but a link in a chain; a reaction to a former, and an action to the next? It is here, upon a threshold of great enlightenment, that we find simple programs and patterns forming complex structures, micro realities dictating laws to giants. This great awakening of human potential becomes all the more brilliant when contrasted with the lingering shadows of primitive superstitions. Alas, there is no more merit in your "intelligent design being probable" argument than there is validity in your hokey book of Dark Age myths. Your god is in your head, and I assure you nowhere else. However, that's ok Matt. In the not too distant future, as the gaps in knowledge where your god lives disappear, your god will end up on the scrapeheap of gods along with the thousands of others mankind has left in his wake. However, for now you can live in your comfy bubble and push your agenda of superstition in attempts to hinder the progress of all.

      • craigles commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        A single amoeba? No way!

        America was founded on principles of secularism, so no one religion would be down-trodden.

      • Matt Dedinas commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The notion that we all come from a single amoeba that one minute wasn't there and the next minute was is far less scientific than Intelligent Design. Looking at it in a purely empirical way, Intelligent Design is possible, even probable. For an amoeba to suddenly appear out of nowhere is statistically impossible. Furthermore, this theory is the brainchild of one Alexander Oparin, a Soviet scientist of early in the era of Stalin . It was put forward to prop up that rotten regime.

        to impose upon people as fact a shoddy Stalinist theory is not science, it is Fascism. What are you so afraid of, allowing people to explore the theory of Intelligent Design? Afraid it might be true?

        Yes, some Pope five hundred years ago did act unscientifically. He also acted Unscripturally. Nowhere in the bible does it say that the Sun revolves around the Earth. Nor does it say that any Bishop has the authority to put the screws to a man who believes otherwise. He violated the tenets of Christianity as flagrantly as he violated the tenets of science.

        I was a history major, but I had to take a couple science classes. I remember the this one teacher saying that science, boiled down its essence, is human curiousity. The ACLU denying the free speech of believers in Intelligent Design are just as bad as whatever Pope arrested Galileo. They deny the aspirations of this human curiosity.

        Something else the teacher said, I remember well. He said that you can't do better than what we have for the human body. He wasnt making a religious statement either. He just said that if you tried to design the body any better than it is, you wont succeed.

      • gaol oriented commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Was the Church behaving in an anti-science manner when it placed Galileo under house arrest? It did so not for his improvement to compass and telescope design or his insights on kinematics, but because his theories contradicted scriptural representations of orbital mechanics. Some religions might be primitivist or ascetic, and oppose science broadly on those grounds, but in general large religious institutions have supported or accepted science which does not challenge their authority. Religion is anti-science not because it opposes all science, but because it is at its core unscientific. Religion holds certain beliefs inviolate, at least in the short-term, and makes elaborate assertions about history, geology, and cosmology without evidence. Much of the basic components of modern monotheistic religions are not falsifiable, but occasionally scripture does make statements about things, the validity of which can be measured by models based on falsifiable predictions. Theories may never be strictly provable, but they can be disproved or shown to be incomplete. Theism itself is not testable and need not rest on any concrete predictions. Specific religions, however, include particular creation myths, miracles, and other descriptions of other physical events which are supposed to have happened. If these have doubt cast on them by science, there's no reason to believe in that religion's doctrine and tithe to that religion's organization if what they say has been shown to be incompatible with what is observed. It is usually possible for theologists to revise or reinterpret scripture to work around science or to demand an unattainable degree of certainty from scientists even regarding these assertions regarding physical events, but this is in itself unscientific because it works antithetically to the scientific method.
        Intelligent Design is not science at all, it is an amorphous and untestable collection of assertions. Scientific conclusions must come from observations or from theories based on observations which make testable predictions. Believing in things that are clearly indicated against by science can only be the product of a world view which is anti-scientific, even if only selectively. Believing in God is not anti-scientific because no evidence indicates the non-existence of God, nor could it.
        Sure, there is "pure science" which underpins virtually all applied science and engineering, and the pure science versus technology dichotomy is very simplistic and not really at the heart of the issue so much as doctrinal conflict is, but there is an important qualitative distinction. "Pure science" is usually taken to mean science which seeks to answer questions which have no apparent utility (though there is often utility) other than the satisfaction of curiosity. When I asked you whether you recognized the distinction, I was talking about the the distinction between the way the two might be perceived by religious leaders, not some philosophical difference between the two. If someone can use physics to make a better wagon wheel or chemistry/alchemy to make harder steel, that discovery could benefit the dominant religious institutions economically and militarily. Science which makes more ontological inquiries can undermine the moral authority of the institutions and must be opposed.
        I single out the Byzantine example because you actually acknowledge specific technologies which are obviously extremely useful and totally innocuous as far as doctrine goes, without acknowledging that the Empire's religious leaders might not have embraced Darwin or Hubble so warmly.

      • Matt Dedinas commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        well Gaol, if you mean the difference between what Liberal myth-makers consider "pure science" and actual science, yes I see a big difference. The whole "Christians are anti-science" myth was created by pro-abortion types to justify their views, not by any intelligent argument, but rather by smearing their opponent. there's no more truth to what they say than there is to rasenkunde taught by the scientists at the University of Berlin in the 1930s.

        As for pure science vs technology, you arent going to advance in one without advancing in the other. And I notice you dont respond to any other era I note besides Byzantine.

        We would not have walked on the Moon if it werent for the advances made by the Dutch back when they were co-religionists with the Puritans.

      • gaol oriented commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Matt Dedinas, I really appreciate the way your knowledge of history allows you to draw so liberally from humanity's past experiences to be wrong in such a colorful and refreshing way. I mean, that Byzantine stuff is incredible. Do you really not see how the development of technology is different from the pure sciences?

      • Matt Dedinas commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Tom, you have it 180 degrees off. It is you who is not content with freedom to not believe in Christianity. You are the one forcing your beliefs on others. You see, when a hundred people engage in a voluntary prayer in public, that no one is forced to participate in (and no one EVER was forced to participate in school prayer or in other public prayer), that is just them using their right to free speech and freedom of religion, which is in the Constitution. You stepping in claiming "separation of church and state," something nowhere to be found in the Constitution, and silencing them puts YOU on the side of tyranny. YOU are the one not being tolerant of the opposing view. When you say Creationism cant be taught in schools because it violates the Constitution, how does it? I mean Creationism was taught in every school in America(right after morning school prayer) at the time the Constitution was written. So I am wondering by what twisted logic makes you figure that the people who wrote the Constitution flagrantly violated it, along with just about everyone who came after them for a century and a half, but a handful of New Deal judges in the mid-20th century suddenly got it right. How do you figure?

        No, the history of every atheistic state is one of oceans of blood and iron fisted tyranny. And that's what you want to bring to my country.

      • IHateChiggers commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate


      • Tom Spettigue commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @ Ted:
        @ Matt Dedinas:

        The problem I have with, well, you... is that you don't stop at being able to freely practice your religion. It isn't enough that you're allowed to build churches, it isn't enough that you're allowed to have sundays off of work for religious reasons (and that being a constitutionally protected right), it isn't enough that you are personally able to choose to marry an individual of the opposite sex, it isn't enough that the government even subsidizes many of your activities -- no.

        Not until gays can't marry, abortion is illegal, kids learn about bullshi-er... creationism in PUBLIC schools, will you be happy. If that isn't state sponsorship of religion (and thus, violatory of the constitution), then I don't know what is.

        You cry that the First Amendment was only intended to prevent a state religion, and that the dirty, soulless, immoral, impure Libs "abuse" the First Amendment to encroach on your religious freedom. I'm sorry, exactly how is allowing gays (obviously not YOU) to marry a transgression against YOUR freedom? How is allowing abortion a transgression of your freedom? How is prohibiting Intelligent Design a transgression of your freedom? Do you even know what freedom is, or what the word "allow" even means?

        It means that you, with all of YOUR OWN PERSONAL religious convictions, would STILL be able to abstain from homosexuality, sex before marriage, abortion, drugs, and whatever else -- while some of your countrymen, who have different PERSONAL convictions would be able to do some of that.

        Oh, but I forgot: That pisses you off, and so you'll donate to organizations that make ads which claim that by failing to take away that guy's freedom, you're freedom is being violated. Asshats.

      • Ted commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The religious right is who we are, and who we must remain, as true Americans. I could not care less if the Lefties and RINOs object.

      • hors_ey commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Yeah, I agree. The antics of the religious right have circled the far left 2 or 3 times.
        Time to act like conservatives, not drama queens.

      • Matt Dedinas commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        this thread is absolutely wrong, the entire premise is based on falacy. there has never been an Atheistic government that hasn't been bloody and filling mass graves. the French revolution was the most humane (actually least inhumane) where you measure death in the tens of thousands rather than millions. I learned all about it as lad, descended from Polish grandparents, watching my distant cousins demonstrating outside the Polish embassy. Ronald Reagan, the Pope, Lech Walensa and the Solidarity demonstrators were the Christians fighting for freedom against the tyrannical Atheistic governments of the Soviet Bloc.

        America was founded on Biblical principles. Our Declaration of Independence derives from the philosophies of John Locke, very nearly word-for-word. And the sole source of authority for Locke's arguments? Scripture aka the Bible. If the Bible is not true, then every premise of American Liberty is not true either. That is what conservatism is fighting- the notion that man, that Big Brother, has the right to dictate to any other man, as opposed to there being a higher law, which makes us all free.

        Who says Christians are anti-science? The Byzantine Empire of the Medieval period was fanatically Christian, and they, during the Dark Ages knew the world was round and deployed flame-throwers to defend their capital at Constantinople in 667-675 AD and 717-718 when besieged by a numerically superior Arab enemy. The Dutch reform Calvinists, who the Puritans considered co-religionists, were also the most advanced people in the 17th century.

        So-called "Christian extremists" were the people who fought for what was right in a sick world, and they were the founders of America also. Puritans and Dutch Reform Calvinists were the builders of the Modern Republic. thank God for those "religious Right" abolitionists in England and America. More secular minded people used to roll their eyes at Christians who fought first the slave trade then slavery itself.

        It is quite disconcerting to see Conservatives fall into the traps laid by intellectually dishonest Liberal historical revisionists.

      • EastCoastElite commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Hmmm, I don't think the other post on the religious right was deleted, I think the votes were combined with this one.

      • Natasha Hale commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I wish I could give all my votes to this. Being connected to the religious right only hurts the GOP. Yes, this country was founded on some of the values that are fundamental to Christianity, but you do not need to be a Christian to believe in those values.

        Plus, they make us look hypocritical when they use altruism to make policy decisions. Altruism on a country wide level does not line up with the ideas of individual liberty that founded this nation. If you want to give, that is what charity is for. It is not the governments job to feed the hungry and house the poor, no matter what your validations of it are. YOU are responsible for your acts of charity, and I MINE. If someone does not want to give, they should not be forced. They will reap the consequences they deserve.

      • Kinley commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        We all know the religious history of this country and we are not denying it. However, just because our founders included religion as a component of our nation's backbone doesn't mean that we must also adhere to that ideology. At that time the government could take a religious stand because everybody agreed with it; now there is a plethora of various beliefs and therefore politics should no longer divide along the lines that divide religions. I should also include that our founding fathers realized the dangers of mixing religion with politics and that is why they were not supportive of government taking a religious side (a vital vindication of early Americans for leaving to the New World).

      • clamshell commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Amen to this post! I am a conservative and I beleive in God, however I am NOT a member of the Religious Right! This is really what is killing the GOP. Legitimate faith...great!!! Fanatical religion....NO!

      • gaol oriented commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        just to clarify, the "product of the American education system" was supposed to be a sort of continuation of the scenario in my previous post, implying that you don't know history. I realize now that, especially in light of my last post, it looks like a lame burn.

      • gaol oriented commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        democratsarefascists put the pieces together one by one, the inappropriate capitalization, flippant disregard for conservative traditions and morality, and blatantly counter-factual assertions...this guy is good, thought democratsarefascists, but I'm better. I'm gonna expose him for what he really is, right here, in this thread! You don't fool ME, gaol oriented.

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