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Americans are numbskulls

Joel Achenbach at the Washington Post:

God help us. Could so many Americans really be that dumb, ill-informed, paranoid, gullible and goofy? It must be tricky being Barack Obama, winding down the U.S. presence in volatile Iraq, trying to keep Afghanistan from degenerating, pondering war with Iran, even as, according to the latest bulletin, one in five Americans thinks he is a Muslim.

Why not just believe he's an alien from outer space? Or a Manchurian Candidate, programmed by, say, the Chinese to bring America to ruin?

Crazy times.

It's also dismaying that so many Americans are opposed to the mosque near Ground Zero. In America you can worship wherever you want, regardless of religious belief. We protect religious minorities here. This isn't merely the law: It's a core value. This goes back to the Pilgrims, I seem to recall. The backers of the mosques are the good guys, the ones who preach tolerance. There should be no hedging on this at all from American leaders: If we can't allow a mosque in lower Manhattan we might as well close shop for good and turn out the lights.

A lot of times, polls are deceiving, through vague wording, or perhaps by not giving people enough information to start with. For example, the question about the mosque may not have been framed in a way that made clear that this would not be a place to advance the cause of radical Islam, jihad, death-to-the-West, etc. But it's hard to see how the Obama question could be confusing. Obama is a Christian, and famously attended a Christian church led by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, whom no one would take for a Muslim.

Let me get this straight.

We're to believe that Obama is a Christian because he says so despite having a record of telling one lie after another for expediency's sake.  And for the record, I'm not saying he isn't a Christian, but I've got to tell you that attending Jeremiah Wright's church isn't enough evidence for me.

We're to believe that the people building the mosque at Ground Zero are the good guys despite the leader of that group blaming Americans for 9/11 and his refusal to state that Hamas is a terrorist organization.

We're to believe that the mosque builders are the equivalent of modern day Pilgrims.

And if we don't believe these things, we are numbskulls, ill-informed, paranoid, gullible and goofy.

And yet... interestingly enough... we're to also believe that the people who voted for this President are somehow the brightest, most intelligent, most highly informed and otherwise most brilliant people to have ever walked the planet.

Cue The Twilight Zone music.


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Comments (55)

The Washington Post is stil... (Below threshold)
Tsar Nicholas II:

The Washington Post is still being published??

As for the thesis of whoever that writer is, the ironic twist is that he's correct on one point, but unintentionally so. A massive percentage of the body politic is shockingly ignorant or plain stupid. They're called Democrat voters.

(To the tune of 'Jesus Love... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

(To the tune of 'Jesus Loves Me')

He's a Pastafarian,
This I know,
The Flying Spaghetti Monster
Told me so.
Touched by the Noodly Appendage was he,
Dunked in the Sauce
And rolled in the Cheese.

Yes, FSM loves him,
The FSM loves him,
The FSM loves all things
You just have to believe...

We need to keep th... (Below threshold)
irongrampa:


We need to keep these people around for comic relief.

So nice to see the left all... (Below threshold)
Hank:

So nice to see the left all concerned about religious freedom.

After all these years of trying to remove any and all references of religion from our daily lives, this is indeed refreshing.

Wright, leader of a racist ... (Below threshold)
Gigabyte:

Wright, leader of a racist black theology "church" has been rather chummy with Farrakhan, leader of a racist black muslim group. Might want to re-evaluate after learning that fact, WaPo moron.

I think joel should get out... (Below threshold)
Jer:

I think joel should get out a little more, his ouija board is defective.

What Achenbach conveniently... (Below threshold)
Mike G in Corvallis:

What Achenbach conveniently omits is context, a word that liberals usually love ...

As South Park pointed out years ago, twenty percent of the American public will believe anything, no matter how crazy.

For example, according to a Rasmussen poll taken in 2007, more than one third of Democrats are 9/11 Truthers:

Democrats in America are evenly divided on the question of whether George W. Bush knew about the 9/11 terrorist attacks in advance. Thirty-five percent (35%) of Democrats believe he did know, 39% say he did not know, and 26% are not sure.

Republicans reject that view and, by a 7-to-1 margin, say the President did not know in advance about the attacks. Among those not affiliated with either major party, 18% believe the President knew and 57% take the opposite view.

Overall, 22% of all voters believe the President knew about the attacks in advance. A slightly larger number, 29%, believe the CIA knew about the attacks in advance.

Yeah, Joel, why don't ya talk about that survey?

You'll have to pardon Joel.... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

You'll have to pardon Joel. He doesn't get out of the Washington bubble very often.

As for Barry's religion. I think it's rather obvious that if Barry worships anything, it's Barry.

And if anyone is at fault, Joel, it's Barry. He enjoys being a blank slate on which people like him can project whatever they want. It also makes it easier to straddle every issue you're confronted with, thus making a vote of "Present" sound plausible. If you're an idiot, like Joel.

actually Obamas attendance ... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

actually Obamas attendance at Trinity is proof that he is not a Christian ...

Wright is as much a Christian as I am and I'm an atheist ...

no, he's not a Muslim ... I doubt he actually believes in a God of any kind ... he certainly believes in the power of utopian ideas ...

Obama had one tool in his toolbox ... his words ... he has no experience or accomplishments to speak of (pre '08 election) ... he has shown no skills as a leader or manager ...

in Nov of '08 2/3 rds of American knew he was a liar (the moderate mask) ...

ultraleft liberals knew and were fine with it ...

republicans knew and voted against him ...

but Independents thought he was telling the truth ... they now know he is a liar and that won't change unless he stops lying, which he just.can't.do ...

going forward not matter how good he SOUNDS on an issue, everyone will always worry that he is lying again ... everyone ... you won't win elections or convince people that way ...

Andrea Mitchell (a well-kno... (Below threshold)
David Spence:

Andrea Mitchell (a well-known racist Tea-Party conservative) just reported that although Obama does not attend church, he is a Christian who practices his faith by downloading daily devotionals. Unreal.

We, Americans left, right a... (Below threshold)
gary gulrud:

We, Americans left, right and center now use Obama as an proscriptive example of the prevaricator, dissembler and out-right liar we detest in our spouse, boss and neighbor.

He speaks the truth only to his base, off-the-record(numerous videos attest to this).

The Louse-in-Chief as a "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" daily, or as often as he speaks. His pronouncements on policy intent and result are in direct opposition to their obvious outcome and purpose.

The media cast his grandparents as having Baptist and Methodist roots but were, in fact, practicing Unitarians. His UCC 'church' called a Black Muslim to its pulpit(the UCC has no synodical oversight whatever into its member congregations).

Apart from official marketing he has been proIslam, antiChristian in unguarded opportunities.

Why wouldn't we doubt the cockroach?

Yes. It's a national embar... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Yes. It's a national embarrassment that one in five thinks he's a muslim, but have nearly twice that number of dems thinking that Bush planned 9/11 and that's normal.

Fuck the media.

Hell even more than 20% of dems in a PPP poll though Barry wasn't born in the US, but you don't hear the media carrying on about Birthers in the Dem party.

Polling of these kind of stupid issues is crap. The agencies doing it usually fail to ask the questions in anything remotely like a neutral manner. The real likelihood is that 90%+ never even considered that idea seriously until some jerk on the phone asked them.

Question 1:What evid... (Below threshold)
Rance:

Question 1:
What evidence would it take for any one of you to believe that Obama is really a Christian?

Question 2:
What evidence could any of you,, who claim to be Christians, offer to convince a skeptic that you actually are a Christian?

#13I dont have pro... (Below threshold)
Nine-Fourteen:

#13

I dont have provide evidence. Im not running the country into the ground along racial and religious issue's like Rev Barrimiah Wrong!

And he should not make the claim unless he can back it up if you think you have too that is.

#13If a person was... (Below threshold)
jim2:

#13

If a person was a non-Catholic Christian, I would ask in which church s/he was baptized and in which s/he was married.

Since the answer is that Jeremiah Wright Jr. performed both ceremonies for Obama (as an adult) and did so at Trinity, one is left to decide if the racist spewing hatred of that man -- so clearly and lavishly documented in Wright's own videos -- qualifies as Christian.

Perhaps arguing for some psuedo Christian aspects for Obama, though, is his repeated Disciple Peter-esque denials of Ayers. The parallel is strong.

("Did I not see you there at his house? Did he not host your introduction into politics?" "No, I tell you I hardly know the man!")

#15 Since infants ar... (Below threshold)
Rance:

#15
Since infants are routinely baptized in many churches, baptism would not seem to be very strong evidence of being a Christian.

Tsar N. beat me to the punc... (Below threshold)
arcman Author Profile Page:

Tsar N. beat me to the punch.

But lets look at the evidence. Obama was born to a non-practicing Muslim father, (if we believe the narrative that BHO Sr. is actually BHO Jr's father) and an Atheist mother; He spent his formative years in Indonesia, with said atheist mother, and a step-father who was a practicing Muslim. He was shipped back to Grandma and Grandpa (a avowed communist as an early teen, and mentored by Frank Marshal Davis another avowed communist and child molester. He moved to Chicago where he joined the Trinity Church, which preaches black liberation theology, which is a bastardization of Christianity mixed with Marxism, black power, and a BHO believes. Nor do I believe that he has a clue. Probably a mix of Islam, Marxism, and Black liberation theology.

An interesting point is tha... (Below threshold)

An interesting point is that according to Sharia (Mulim law), the President is indeed a Moslem, even if he tries to deny it.

1. The child of a Moslem is a Moslem no matter what the religion of the other parent might be.

2. A Moslem can never "leave the faith" and become something els.

3. A Moslem who attempts to convert out of Islam is called an apostate and is subject to the death penalty.

According to Sharia law, the President has no say in the matter. He was born a Moslem and can never get out of it.

"God help us. Could so many... (Below threshold)
oldpuppymax:

"God help us. Could so many Americans really be that dumb, ill-informed, paranoid, gullible and goofy?"


Sure, Joe. Look what's in the White House!!!

#16That was why I ... (Below threshold)
jim2:

#16

That was why I noted that Obama's baptism took place when he was an adult (and by Wright).

Being baptized as an infant may be suggestive of early upbringing, but I agree with you that it is little more than that.

Nearly 30% of Americans bel... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

Nearly 30% of Americans believe in UFOs and a similar number believe in ESP or astrology.

Let's start there . . .

Pardon, that should read: "... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

Pardon, that should read: ". . . believe UFOs are visitors from outer space . . . "

Obviously, there ARE "unidentified flying objects," just not the kind piloted by little green muslims.

just not the kind pilote... (Below threshold)
Mj<:

just not the kind piloted by little green muslims.

...that you know of.

Obama is not a Christian or Muslim.

He is a godless Marxist.

Let me get this st... (Below threshold)
Let me get this straight.

We're to believe that Obama is a Christian because he says so despite having a record of telling one lie after another for expediency's sake.

Nope, you've already got it twisted.

You're supposed to believe Obama is a Christain **not only** because he says so, **but also** because he's attended Christian churches his whole life, AND ONLY been a member of Christian churches his whole life.

If you are not believing that Obama is a Christian, then that is %100 something you are bringing to the table - because there is **no evidence otherwise**.

And for the record, I'm not saying he isn't a Christian, but I've got to tell you that attending Jeremiah Wright's church isn't enough evidence for me.

There's nothing Wright said that is more hateful than any number of rantings by Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Jimmy Swaggart, et al. But you accept their followers as Christians. So if you don't want to be a hypocrite, apply the definition fairly: either these followers are all Christians, or none of them are.

If you want things straight, that's the straight way it is.

I personally don't even see... (Below threshold)

I personally don't even see why it should matter worth a damn what religion Obama is. Either you like what he's doing or you don't. That is a place for legitimate discussion of policy - all this other side crap about his religion is not only completely wrong **but also irrelevant, even if it was right**.

Guilt by association is just about the most unamerican, unjust and unfair way to treat a free man that I can think of. Saying he's "a Muslim" or spreading doubt of him being a "Christian" is trying to imply just that.

I wish everyone would calm down and just talk about policy. Then we could maybe all be Americans again, instead of trying to push this hateful prejudicial divide of differences based on ***irrelevant cultural symbols***. We'll see if that happens.

"I personally don't even... (Below threshold)
jim m:

"I personally don't even see why it should matter worth a damn what religion Obama is....I wish everyone would calm down and just talk about policy."


JImx - I agree. Regardless of which religion Barry professes to have affinity to today or tomorrow, he's still a crappy president.

Guilt by association is ... (Below threshold)
Mike G in Corvallis:

Guilt by association is just about the most unamerican, unjust and unfair way to treat a free man that I can think of. Saying he's "a Muslim" or spreading doubt of him being a "Christian" is trying to imply just that.

Jim, I almost agree with you. I don't give a crap about whether Obama is a Christian or not, because Christianity is a religion, one that accepts the concept of separation of church and state. But I do care whether he's a Mohammedan, because Islam is both a religion and a political philosophy, one that advocates total control of the government and the laws by people of the One True Faith.

That makes a difference to me. Doesn't it make a difference to you?

(And frankly, I don't think he subscribes to all of the tenets of Islam, but I wouldn't be surprised if he were sympathetic to some of them -- especially those that are consistent with the idea of total control of society by the Smart People (i.e., himself and his cronies). And I strongly suspect that his history makes him much more kindly disposed toward Mohammedans than to those filthy, wicked Jews.)

J x-"Either you li... (Below threshold)
Nine Fourteen:

J x-

"Either you like what he's doing or you don't That is a place for legitimate discussion of policy - all this other side crap about his religion is not only completely wrong **but also irrelevant, even if it was right**."

Then why are you commenting on it? It is the subject at hand. If you view it as irrelevant then stay away instead of adding to its relevance by commenting.


"Guilt by association is just about the most unamerican, unjust and unfair way to treat a free man that I can think of. Saying he's "a Muslim" or spreading doubt of him being a "Christian" is trying to imply just that."


What is he guilty of if he is a muslim?

To recap: Obama's years in ... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

To recap: Obama's years in the pews listening to Rev Wright (and his books on tape) is proof that he is a Christian and not a Muslim. But those years in the pews in no way mean that he agrees with the brand of hateful and racist theology that Wright preaches.
Interesting.

Q - How come nobody talks a... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Q - How come nobody talks about NOI (Nation of Islam) anymore and the special affinity that blacks have with Islam? No one would mistake the Rev. Jeremiah Wright for a Muslim? Are you kidding me? His brand of religiosity falls precisely within the racist bounds of NOI rhetoric.

Don't misunderstand. I do not think that Obama is a Muslim anymore than I think he is Christian. NOI is more a sociopolitical "religion" of convenience for blacks anyway. Nevertheless, Obama's worldview owes far more to the likes of NOI adherents than to Christianity by any stretch.

#29On target!... (Below threshold)
jim2:

#29

On target!

Jim, I almost agre... (Below threshold)
Jim, I almost agree with you. I don't give a crap about whether Obama is a Christian or not, because Christianity is a religion, one that accepts the concept of separation of church and state. But I do care whether he's a Mohammedan...

First, you should be aware that Christianity is NOT a religion that accepts the concept of Church and State. America is a **culture and society** that accepts the concept of separating church and state...and Christian churches in America have been forced to accept this.

And keeping this separatation was not easy - it has been a continual struggle. The state-enforced conversion of American Indians to Christianity is one clear example of this.

But secondly, and more importantly - THERE IS NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER that Barack Obama is some sort of secret Muslim.

I mean, it kind of blows my mind that I even have to write that previous sentence. But apparently I do.

Think about it! He grows up with a Christian family. He lives his entire life in Christian churches and a Christian community. Was he selected and groomed for childhood as some sort of Muslimbot, in a secret plan to elect him President, starting from before his birth in the sixties?

Pretty clearly not. Since that's the case, if he was in any way some sort of Muslim-in-hiding, you better believe there would be some evidence.

That makes a difference to me. Doesn't it make a difference to you?

No. What makes a difference to me is POLICIES. Everything else is symbolic window-dressing crapola, serving only to distract and divide rather than unite and accomplish actual progress.

jim xYou have it e... (Below threshold)
jim m:

jim x

You have it exactly backwards. Christianity does in fact recognize a difference between the spheres of church and state. It may not have always been so, particularly in the pre-reformation Catholic Church, but it is so today.

On the other hand islam does not recognize and has never recognized any separation between the spheres of religion and politics. The fact is that islam sees religion and politics as one. It has always held this view and this view is one of the primary reasons many people are suspicious of the mere notion of "moderate muslims". When so-called moderate muslims are individuals that still support sharia law (a systme that calls for the subjugation of not just women, but people of other faiths as well) it is hard to perceive them as moderate.

Your example of the forced conversion of indians says more about the government than it does about the Christian faith.

Then again at the end you lurch into the truth: "Everything else is symbolic window-dressing crapola, serving only to distract and divide rather than unite and accomplish actual progress." This is exactly the obama administration. Religion is window dressing. Any social position is nothing more than paying lip service to some constituency. The electorate is to be divided by race, religion, class, age, and any other category they can conceive in order to keep people thinking of themselves as members of a grievance group and not as citizens of a nation. Divide the country against itself so Barry and his friends can get rich.

Frankly, unlike Achenbach, ... (Below threshold)

Frankly, unlike Achenbach, I think Obama is first and foremost an asshat. His religious beliefs - and he seems pretty clearly to hold none - are irrelevant under present circumstances. But let's get back to the real issue laid out in this blog post. The issue Rick is dealing with is the 1000 and first use by the Journolistas and their fellow travelers of the (pick one) label of numbskulls-racists-bigots to describe those who don't worship with him at the cult of Obama. In other words, "you're a numbskull, therefore I win the argument!" Nobody, apparently, asked the respondents the key question: "do you give a sh*t what religion Obama is or are his destructive and misguided policies more important?" It's no surprise to me that 20% of the respondents, who probably spend little or no time closely following current affairs, think that he is a Muslim since they see him on the telly continually bowing and scraping to Middle Easterners dressed in funny clothes. But the likes of Achenbach and his breed can't leave this opportunity to piss on the little guy/gal alone and wind up drawing all kinds of unsupported conclusions - favorable to The Won of course.

Jim x,Care to name t... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Jim x,
Care to name the Christian Theocracies, or nations with Christian religious police in the world today?
I'll give you the Holy See for free.

Re: # 35 and # 33 - The que... (Below threshold)

Re: # 35 and # 33 - The question I'm answering is: "Does Christianity **as a basic part of its innate religious philosophy** recognize and want a separation between the spheres of church and state."

The answer to this is clearly no - otherwise there would never have been Christian theocracies in history. In fact, before the Protestant reformation, Christian theocracy was in fact **the rule**. And even after that, Protestant churches were almost always theocracies - just smaller ones. Hence smaller Protestant religions like the Puritans moving away from larger effective theocracies like the Church of England, to worship as they chose - ...so THEY could have their own still-smaller theocracies in the new world. Hence the Salem Witch Trials, etc.

This change of Christianity being separate from government has not come from within, but has been forced from the outside - as individuals and societies have gradually ***demanded*** this separation ***from Christianity***. Sometimes with awful and bloody resistance.

And to be clear, this has occurred with ALL religions, including even Buddhism.

Your example of the forced conversion of indians says more about the government than it does about the Christian faith.

No, it just shows that Christian faith is NOT inherently opposed to being united with Government. If Christianity was intrinsically opposed to being united with government power, the forced conversion of Indians would not have been possible - as opposed to basically being the universal rule.

What we're seeing when we look at Christianity now, is the **result** of this change being forced on Christianity by society.

jim x-you missed t... (Below threshold)
jim m:

jim x-

you missed the point again. Forced conversion of indians by the government is materially different than what you see in islamic nations.

The difference lies in the fact that in islamic societies there is no separation between the secular and the religious. They are one and the same. The closest thing in the Christian world was the Papal States and they went the way of the dinosaur quite some time ago. The next closest is the Aglican Church and the English monarchy and that analogy misses the mark because the monarchy is largely ceremonial and has been for over 100 years.

The Christian church does not rely upon forced conversion and that is why you see missionaries everywhere. You do not see muslim missionaries in that same way. Islam spreads primarily through force. Other faiths are suppressed or taxed. Adherents of other faiths are killed, or if not killed then sold into slavery as we see in modern Sudan.

There is a difference between the state initiating and enforcing something independently of an organized state religion and the state acting as an arm of that religion. The first case is what you see in the US ver 100 years ago. The latter you see in the islamic world all the way to today.

Re: # 35 specifically - the... (Below threshold)

Re: # 35 specifically - there aren't any current Christian theocracies where Christians run things.

There are still some where I think Christian churches have more power than they should. The King or Queen of England is still the symbolic head of the Church of England - it just doesn't matter because the monarch is only a symbolic head of England as well.

But the fact that there are no longer churches explicitly running governments doesn't mean the desire to have governmental power isn't innate in Christianity - that would mean ignoring the 1400-odd years of history between Rome adopting Christianity as it's official religion (AD 313) and the US Bill of Rights in 1792.

So if what you're saying is "Christianity is better than Islam because Christian churches aren't running governments ***right now***", that's more because social change has not affected those nation's governments. There are nations where Islam is prevalent but it is not theocracy - Lebanon, and Malaysia, for two separate examples.

Let's recall, for example, that the very restrictive Saudi theocracy remains in power over their society partly because we are still propping them up.

The closest thing ... (Below threshold)
The closest thing in the Christian world was the Papal States and they went the way of the dinosaur quite some time ago.

No, that's not the closest thing in the world. You are ignoring the Protestant theocracies of Europe, including Germany, England, Ireland, Scotland and Scandinavia.

Basically, every single country that had Christianity was at one time an effective theocracy.

The Christian church does not rely upon forced conversion and that is why you see missionaries everywhere.

Does not - present tense. Did once - past tense. Which is why, clearly, this separation is not **innate**. It was forced ***by society***.

Why is this so hard to accept? It is literal history. It's not like this was just a bunch of Papists or something - this is basically every single country that ever had Christianity ever.

And, to be precise, any religion ever. Including, once again, Buddhism. It is simple historical fact.

I would categorically disag... (Below threshold)
jim m:

I would categorically disagree with your characterization of the current state of affairs as being a circumstance that was forced on the Christian church. Christianity has for centuries relied on missionaries to convert people. The church sent missionaries. Yes, the state (200+ years ago for the most part) did use forced conversion as a tool to conquer colonial territories, but these efforts while done perhaps with the participation of the church were not driven by the church per se. The church already had a mechanism to convert people and it did not include the sword.

If you inderstood the history of Christianity and did not continually characterize it in such hateful terms you might be able to understand the difference.

Christianity has its roots in an independent church organization that operated separately and often in opposition to the state. Islam started as the state religion and has always been inseparable and often indistinguishable from the state. Chiristianity having started as separate has always maintained some of that character of being "other" that the government. That has indeed facilitated the kind of separation that we see in the West today.

You deny the origin of the church and how the Christian faith has grown and developed through the centuries. You make your comparisons as though these fact do not exist and you make assumptions and conclusions as though the Christian faith started as the Holy Roman Empire. It did not and it developed for centuries as separate and often outlawed by the state. Islam has never developed outside of either the official state religion or under the enlightened tolerance of western societies. In light of current circumstances we may debte how enlightened that tolerence really is.

jim x-I would not ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

jim x-

I would not consider any of the scandanavian countries to be a christian theocracy at any time during their history. Nor would I consider Germany such. Only the UK could be considered such and oly for part of that history. And dividing it up into its constutuent states is not a convincing argument.

You skew your history and ignore a great many facts. I am trying to draw a distinction between what a government may do to promote a religion and what that religion may do while at the same time pointing out that islam refuses to accept a distinction between government and religion. Christianity not only acknolwedges that distinction, but for its entire history has posited that such a distinction exists.

You would say that Christian monarchies are all theocracies but that is quite far from the truth. With the exception of England European monarchs only had limited control over the church and VERY limited control over doctrine. That is not a theocracy. However, islam, I will say again, has always been a theocracy with the sole exception being a few secularized states today that we see slipping back into theocracy and those theocratic states gaining influence in that part of the world.

Deny all you wish the fact that Christianity has a decidedly different history from islam. You only make yourself look foolish.

Jim M. if Christianity is i... (Below threshold)

Jim M. if Christianity is innately opposed to theocracy in it's essence, then government should not have been able to use Christianity as any sort of tool.

It goes far beyond the conversion of natives in new territories. I am not merely talking about Europe's colonial phase. Leaving colonization aside, please explain how these things happened:

- Constantine's creation of Christianity as the state religion
- The Holy Roman Empire that followed
- The Holy Roman Empire's persecution of pagans
- the imprisonment of Galileo
- the Puritan overthrow of the English government
- the Inquisition
- the Salem witch trials
- England's Protestant persecution of Irish Catholics
- the forced conversion of American Indians, by both Catholic and Protestant churches

I think you are taking the state of Christianity from 200 years ago to today, and saying this is the result of Christianity realizing it was doing bad things and changing from within. And what I am telling you is the opposite - if you look at history, this change has not come from within Christian churches. It has come from outside it - and sometimes from great and bloody struggle.

First, you should be awa... (Below threshold)
Mike G in Corvallis:

First, you should be aware that Christianity is NOT a religion that accepts the concept of Church and State. America is a **culture and society** that accepts the concept of separating church and state...and Christian churches in America have been forced to accept this.

Good grief! Do you bother to read what you write?

And keeping this separatation was not easy - it has been a continual struggle. The state-enforced conversion of American Indians to Christianity is one clear example of this.

Yes, and until the 1820s or so several states even had established churches. So what? That was then, this is now. Show me a mainstream Christian church in America that's advocating a "Christianist" government. (No, the Westboro Baptist Church and the Church of the Creator don't count.)

American imams are advocating sharia now.

But secondly, and more importantly - THERE IS NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER that Barack Obama is some sort of secret Muslim.

Other than the Indonesian school records that record his religion as "Muslim," of course. And his own autobiography mentions studying the Koran in Jacarta. (Apparently he wasn't particularly devouut.) But the whole "secret Muslim" thing is your strawman, isn't it? Leave me out of it, sir.

I mean, it kind of blows my mind that I even have to write that previous sentence. But apparently I do.

No you don't. Apparently your mind was blown long before this.

Think about it! He grows up with a Christian family. He lives his entire life in Christian churches and a Christian community.

Oh really? See above.

Was he selected and groomed for childhood as some sort of Muslimbot, in a secret plan to elect him President, starting from before his birth in the sixties?

Pretty clearly not. Since that's the case, if he was in any way some sort of Muslim-in-hiding, you better believe there would be some evidence.

Did I say he was? No, I said that I didn't think he was. Is he a "Muslim-in-hiding"? No, just an authoritarian asshole.

> That makes a difference to me. Doesn't it make a difference to you?

No. What makes a difference to me is POLICIES. Everything else is symbolic window-dressing crapola, serving only to distract and divide rather than unite and accomplish actual progress.

Way to selectively quote, guy. What make a difference to me are his policies, which may have been influenced by exposure to Islam in his formative years.

Whoops. The following parag... (Below threshold)
Mike G in Corvallis:

Whoops. The following paragraphs should have been in italics, to indicate that I was quoting jim x:

Pretty clearly not. Since that's the case, if he was in any way some sort of Muslim-in-hiding, you better believe there would be some evidence.

No. What makes a difference to me is POLICIES. Everything else is symbolic window-dressing crapola, serving only to distract and divide rather than unite and accomplish actual progress.

Please print these, cut them out, and paste them on your screen to replace the paragraphs in the original comment. Thank you.

First, you shou... (Below threshold)
First, you should be aware that Christianity is NOT a religion that accepts the concept of Church and State. America is a **culture and society** that accepts the concept of separating church and state...and Christian churches in America have been forced to accept this. Good grief! Do you bother to read what you write?

Yes. Do you bother to read it? Or do you just stop when you don't like it?

Please explain what is factually wrong with that statement of mine.

So what? That was then, this is now.

So you are in fact **AGREEING WITH ME**, that Christianity was different in the past. SO, why in fact are we arguing?

The fact that things ARE different now, is proof that this change wasn't innate to Christianity - but that it was forced on Christianity from the outside.

Do you see what I'm saying?

If you disagree with me, please show how these changes took place ***WITHOUT OUTSIDE PRESSURE*** on the Christian churches or religious leaders involved.

No, I said that I didn't think he was. Is he a "Muslim-in-hiding"? No, just an authoritarian asshole.

OKay then. So there should be no question about what his religion is.

As for his policies being influenced by "exposure to Islam in his formative years", I have yet to see anything he's done that is out of step with FDR **at most**. So unless you think FDR was exposed to Islam, I suggest that what is going on is, you don't like Obama's policies - and "exposure to Islam" really has no logical connection to them.

jim x- I did not s... (Below threshold)
jim m:

jim x-

I did not say that Christianity was "innately opposed to theocracy in it's essence". You are trying desperately to create a straw man.

What I said was that Christianity began as a separate and disctinct entity and despite the political events that followed (ie the conversion of Constantine, the empire, the papal states, Henry VIII of England), Christianity has alway retained that character of seeing itself as being to some degree separate and above worldly governments. The other examples you gave have little or nothing to do with this issue.

Now contrast this character of being distinct from a worldly government to the nature of islam, which is that islam IS the government and islam IS the law. While Christianity informs our laws, islam and sharia ARE the law in muslim nations.(and don't go bitching about "thou shalt not kill" you should be able to get my point unless you are a total imbecile)

You like to suggest that Christianity has always been a monolithic organization bent on forcing the world into its point of view. The fact is that it was not so. Christianity was focused on conversion by prostelyzing until the Roman Empire coopted the faith. It was governments who took the faith and tried to force others to convert. The church may have abetted this effort but the effort did not originate in the church.

In islam the church and the government stated as remain one and the same. Prostelytizing has always taken a back seat to forced conversions. There has never been a separation between church and state acknolwedged by the islamic faith.

That separation has been acknowledged by Christianity and has been a defining characteristic for over 2000 years. You don't have to like it or agree with it but it is true.

I would not consid... (Below threshold)
I would not consider any of the scandanavian countries to be a christian theocracy at any time during their history.

Well, history differs with you.

Norway:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norway#Union_with_Denmark

"With the introduction of Protestantism in 1536, the archbishopric in Trondheim was dissolved, and Norway effectually became a tributary to Denmark, and the church's incomes were distributed to the court in Copenhagen instead."

So when the Protestants took over they kicked out the Catholics, and the court formally took over the religious tribute. Theocracy, check.

Iceland:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iceland#Middle_Ages_to_the_Early_Modern_Era_.281262.E2.80.931814.29

"Around the middle of the 16th century, King Christian III of Denmark began to impose Lutheranism on all his subjects. The last Catholic bishop in Iceland (before 1968), Jón Arason, was beheaded in 1550 along with two of his sons. The country subsequently became fully Lutheran."

Rulers wiping out people for having a different religion pretty much defines theocracy.

Nor would I consider Germany such.

Here's some further reading for you:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirty_Years%27_War

I did not say that... (Below threshold)
I did not say that Christianity was "innately opposed to theocracy in it's essence".

No - that was Mike G in # 27. I was responding to him, in # 33. You then responded to my statement in # 33, with # 34 - but you were not addressing my argument.

My original argument, with Mike G., is that there is nothing about Christianity that is innately opposed to theocracy.

I attempted to make this clear, with # 36:

Re: # 35 and # 33 - The question I'm answering is: "Does Christianity **as a basic part of its innate religious philosophy** recognize and want a separation between the spheres of church and state."

I thought this was pretty clear, when I said it; but apparently not.

So, to hopefully be clearer: I'm not arguing about the current state of Christianity's power. There is currently no Christian church that has any direct power over governments.

You are trying desperately to create a straw man.

Actually, it appears you were simply misunderstanding my objection to Mike G/s statement. And also it appears you were unclear about some European history. Which I hope you will now become more familiar with.

The church may have abetted this effort but the effort did not originate in the church.

Chicken, egg - the point is, Christianity had absolutely no problem wielding as much power as it desired. And it only yielded that power when forced to - never as the result of any sort of inner enlightenment on the part of Christianity.

So, you can feel free to think that Islam is a militant religion in a way that Christianity can not be - but I am telling you that this is disproved by a simple review of Christianity's own history.

And, for that matter, Jadaism's, Buddhism's, and Hinduism's. And any other religion that I know of. Religions are tailor-made for theocracy, whatever their original spiritual purposes. That is why the Founding Fathers were so wise in separating them when they separated from Britain.

"Religions are tailor-made ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

"Religions are tailor-made for theocracy"

Thank you jim x. Now you understand the concept of a tautology. As long as you argue that way you will never be wrong. Of course you will never prove anything either.

dumbass

I did not say that Chris... (Below threshold)
Mike G in Corvallis:

I did not say that Christianity was "innately opposed to theocracy in it's essence".

No - that was Mike G in # 27. I was responding to him, in # 33.

That's it. I do not argue with liars.

Jim x,You've mistake... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Jim x,
You've mistaken the current tense for the past tense.
Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy and the younger strains of Christianity have moved on. Perhaps you should consider doing so as well. Right now, you seem to be fixated on the past. Centuries have come and gone that you've chosen to ignore. Rather like much of Islam...

Jesus Christ, Mike. Don't c... (Below threshold)

Jesus Christ, Mike. Don't call me a liar for arguing with what ***you said.*** Because you said this:

I don't give a crap about whether Obama is a Christian or not, because Christianity is a religion, one that accepts the concept of separation of church and state.

I mean, does your mouse only scroll downward or something? Wtf.

You've mistaken the curr... (Below threshold)

You've mistaken the current tense for the past tense.

Sorry, SCSIWuzzy. I don't see how it's my mistake, when I'm merely taking a microscope to what other people are actually saying.

Nice try though. Interesting that you would rather blame me, than those who are should be held responsible for their own mistakes.

Rather also like much of religious theocracies, in fact...

Actually Jim M, it's quite ... (Below threshold)

Actually Jim M, it's quite easy to prove me wrong. Just show me an example of a religion that hasn't been used by the ruling class to keep the peasants in line.

Stupid butt.

Let's see how long did he g... (Below threshold)

Let's see how long did he go to a church that teaches Black Liberation Theology? I didn't know to be President there was a litmus test. First you have to be truthful with yourselves,YOU HATE HIM BECAUSE HE'S BLACK!First there's no Mosque, Park 51 is a Recreation Center with a prayer area.

I wish black people could have treated Ronald Reagan like you do the current President. Let me teach you some history and not the fake Glenn Beck stuff. The only time in America that someone put up a religious building after a military victory, it was a Christian. From the founding of America when the Native population was defeated by the Spanish, French , or English a Church was built.

On Memorial Day in Tulsa in 1921 something strange happened. Black Wall Street was blown up and the Ku Klux Klan built their church.Six hundred businesses were destroyed, more than 3,000 blacks were murdered. There were so many bodies that many were just plowed right on the spot. Blacks were the first Americans to be bombed from the by airplane.

Next time you celebrate Memorial Day think about Tulsa, our 9/11. It happened and we were not paid for our misery, at all!

So on 8/28 when you go to your eff Dr. King March with Beck the Bigot, Ted "Is this Audience White" Nugent, or Sarah "I support a woman that called a black woman the N-Word 11 times and said that she had a problem with mix marriages" Palin, remember Black Wall Street. It's on Wikipedia or you can google it.




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