Empty Doorway, empty mind

Empty Doorway blogs about a post:

For those of us who firmly believe that the direct influence of religion in politics is antithetical to genuine democracy, Bush’s highly public Christian invocations, the presence of religious advisers in his administration whose sole purpose is to ensure that U.S. policy conforms to Christian doctrine (in particular, apocolyptic prophecies related to the nation of Israel), and his direct appeals to Catholic, and now Protestant, clergy to aid him in his bid for reelection, are extremely worrisome. Yet this is apparently not enough for some on the Religious Right, who feel that Bush has done too little, too late, to court their vote. Of course, most of them will still vote for Bush, but that’s not the point. Bush hasn’t done what they apparently thought he would, or at least should do: solidify conservative Christianity’s central role in forming national policy.

What does this moron believe democracy is? Apparently the 5.3 percent of the population that is Southern Baptist are supposed to keep their mouths shut and not participate in the process, along with all the Catholics, Baptists, Methodists and assorted non-denominational Evangelical Christians. Even if he is using the term “genuine democracy” incorrectly to refer to the Constitutional American republic, it’s a weird argument to insist that the political system formed by Christian men to respect God-given rights should be sterilized of all religion.

He wants genuine democracy? So be it. The only reason that the insignificant secularist minority has any power at all is that it has been successful in using its sympathizers in the courts to use federal power to suppress the will of the majority. Fiat democrasia! Of course, if the Athenian model is any example, we’ll also be voting to execute momentarily unpopular generals, but that’s a known hazard of rule by mob.

What is truly frightening is not the sentiment expressed in such passages (especially the second one), but that groups whose members share these pernicious opinions have such a strong voice. They know how to make themselves heard, despite composing a relatively small minority of the U.S. population. They have mastered the technique of using appeals to emotion through faith and fear, to manipulate politicians and larger segments of the population into adopting their stances. Yet, it’s not enough for them that our president’s ear is ever open to their hateful nonsense, or that in decision-making, they are always in his mind. Scary stuff.

The Empty Mind is unsurprisingly more than a little weak on his math. The reason the Christian voices are so well-heard is that the Christian community is so large, a much larger “minority” than blacks, Jews or homosexuals. That’s why the Left, for all its mantra of “democracy, democracy”, fears the Religious Right and needs combat it through the courts instead of the ballot box. The secular Left is so unpopular and so numerically insignificant that it can’t even win in the strictly limited democracy of the American political system and so is forced to have its “democracy” at a third remove, by unelected judges. I’d like to hear what this guy’s definition of “genuine democracy” is, because as is clearly the case here, the use of the adjective necessitates a modification of the following noun. I suspect that in his usage, “democracy” has little to do with how historians and dictionaries have defined the term for centuries.

I’d be scared too, if I looked at the world with so little understanding of what was happening around me. And now there’s more from the Vacuous One:

If you read his comments, keep in mind that I never implied Christians shouldn’t vote based on their faith. Rather, I stated that religion should not have a direct influence on policy. Recognizing the difference is apparently beyond the author’s mental grasp. I also recommend that someone buy him a dictionary, so that he can see that “constitutional republic” is a form of democracy. Naturally, I did not mean a “pure democracy,” in which each person has one vote on every policy decision.

I’m curious to know how, in a democracy of any sort, religion can fail to have a direct influence on policy if 20 percent (Empty’s estimate) of the population votes based on their faith? It’s also amusing that he should think I need a dictionary, as he specifically used the term “genuine democracy” which clearly implies some form of distinction from our constitutional republican form of limited democracy. “Genuine” is not to be mistaken for “pure”, okay…. And Mr. Webster says: “\Gen”u*ine\, a. [L. genuinus, fr. genere, gignere, to beget, in pass., to be born: cf. F. g[‘e]nuine. See Gender.] Belonging to, or proceeding from, the original stock; native; hence, not counterfeit, spurious, false, or adulterated; authentic; real; natural; true; pure; as, a genuine text; a genuine production; genuine materials.. I’m the one who needs the dictionary? Look, it’s hardly my fault that he can’t write with precision.

In addition, the author would surely benefit if someone explained the difference between Christian (general) and conservative Christian or Religious Right, the latter being a fairly small group that, if we use abortion as a rough measure (the author states that outlawing abortion would appeal to this group), comprises less than 20% of the population (we’d also have to subtract most Catholics who are strictly “pro-life” from that number for it to be accurate). At least the author demonstrates the un-Christian-like anger and condescension that characterizes his minority.

I have no conception of the difference between the broader Christian populace and the Religious Right? Oh, so that’s what Ralph Reed was trying to explain to me when we were talking twelve years ago – before I was a Christian, by the way! Apparently in Empty’s mind, this passes for a difficult concept. And if 20 percent is “fairly small” I wonder why we spend any attention whatsoever to those insignificant black, Jewish and homosexual minorities, which taken in their totality barely amount to 15 percent. I’m not in the least bit angry, but how can I help but condescend to someone who is this ill-equipped to reason or debate?

The truth is out there

Nate posts on TWA 800:


The number of ships or subs the Navy claimed were within 185 miles of the disaster.


The number of Navy ships or subs the FBI, in its final report, admitted were in “the immediate vicinity” of the disaster.


The number of days it allegedly took the Navy to find the black boxes in 130 feet of calm water off the Hamptons.


The number of hours it actually took the Navy to find the black boxes of a crashed Turkish airplane in 7,200 feet of water earlier in that year off the Dominican Republic.


The number of seconds missing at the end of both the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder.


The number of satellites in position to record the disaster.


The number of satellites reportedly broken at that very moment.

Since I’m well-versed in history and have learned how often the “official” story is a complete pack of lies, I usually appreciate hearing the government’s explanation for an incident, as that eliminates one possibility right there. Interesting, too, that both John Kerry and George Stephanopolous have referred to the “bombing” of TWA 800. Nate’s got more listed; check it out.

Mailvox: a first-generation Libertarian

AG writes:

I went over to visit my dad and grandmother last night, because she’s in town for a few days and we haven’t seen her in a while. Anyway, the two of them are big Republicans, and raised me that way as well. So, of course we got to talking about politics and the “war on terror” and so forth. After complaining about how the media aren’t covering the goings on in Iraq very well, such that anything good for Bush is not shown, and anything bad for Bush is shown, I dropped the bombshell: I’m not voting for Bush, I’m voting for Badnarik.

Immediate reaction: well, if you want to throw your vote away, go ahead. Why are you not voting for Bush? Do you want to see Kerry elected?

1. If you want to throw your vote away, go ahead

Thank you. The fundamental point of even limited democracy is that every individual can choose to vote as he or she pleases.

2. Why are you not voting for Bush?

Because after 3.5 years of his presidency, I have learned that I do not support his policies. His policies bear more resemblance to those of Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt than Ronald Reagan. I wouldn’t vote for them either.

3. Do you want to see Kerry elected?

No, otherwise I would vote for him. However, I don’t want to see Bush elected either. Since I don’t support either one of them, I’m voting for neither.

I suspect that most Republicans who’ve never considered a third-party don’t realize how similar Bush and Kerry are, as one cannot see this clearly until one takes into account the massive differences between Bush and Badnarik and Bush and Peroutka. The fact that Badnarik and Peroutka appear so similar only highlights this vast gulf that separates both Bush and Kerry from genuinely Constitutional government.

If you support either Bush or Kerry, you do not support the U.S. Constitution. It’s that simple, and it makes no difference if we drive towards the cliff of Empire at 80 MPH or 65. (I used to say 55, but Bush has certainly stepped on the gas.) What I’m interested in hearing from pro-administration Republicans is how they believe supporting someone who is actively building larger government is going to lead to smaller government.

The evidence would seem to suggest that they don’t support smaller government or constitional govenment at all. Turning things around will not be easy and in fact may not be possible. But surely it’s not hard to understand that one will never turn around when one has no desire to do so.

Mailvox: self-righteous libertarians

Laurie writes:

No Child Left Behind Act-Complete failure and will continue to be until there is more funding. The fact is, Bush is a damn idiot and the only way this world is going to change is if each person keeps voting libertarian.

That’s three silly statements in a row. 1. No Child Left Behind will continue to be a failure even if spending is increased 10x. See the War on Poverty, the War on Drugs or the very well-funded public school system for examples. 2. Bush is many things, but he is not an idiot. He has a higher IQ than most of the people who enjoy calling him an idiot. And I am manifestly not a fan of the man. 3. The world is going to change regardless of how people vote. How it will change remains a mystery, but change it certainly will and I suspect it will change faster and more dramatically than most people would believe possible.

And I have been doing sort of an experiment the past few months that might seem kind of…. immoral. I’ve been pretending to be a practicing Christian and what I’ve learned., is that they seem to be the most brainwashed people in the entire earth, on the opposite end of the spectrum of libertarians. It makes me sad to see so many young people throwing themselves into something just because most of them don’t know any better. You tell them that something is in the bible, you could tell them ANYTHING is in the bible, because you can grasp anything in there in any concept just because there is so much random stuff, and tell them it means something… you could make them view anything. Do people think that Christianity will ever become a minority? Just asking.

Libertarianism would not exist were it not for Christianity. The foundational concepts of individual freedom, personal responsibility and human rights can all be traced directly to Biblical Christianity. There is no inherent contradiction between Christianity and libertarianism, indeed, the God of the Bible would appear to be more than a bit of a libertarian in a) promising to set people free, b) allowing individuals to suffer the consequences of their actions, and c) refusing to use His power to force people to obey Him.

Will Christianity ever become a minority? It has always been a minority in what, after all, is a fallen world ruled by an evil being.

The short-sighted secularist

I’ve been thinking about this today, as to why the godless secularists in our midst continually refer to the Religious Right as some sort of imminent danger when a) a large percentage of the Religious Right is contemptuous of politics; and b) the historical Religious Right showed little inclination to impose its beliefs on anyone.

The key to their thinking can be found in their common comparison of the Christian Right to the Taliban and other Islamic theocracies. There is no question that these Church-State marriages are oppressive, anti-liberty and more than willing to commit violence against the insufficiently obedient citizen. The flaw in the secularist thinking is to place the blame for this on the Church half of the equation, instead of the State.

Consider, if you will, those nations which are/were fervently secular, but where the State wielded the same degree of power as the aforementioned theocracies. Every Socialist country, from Albania to Zimbabwe, has seen more oppression, less liberty and more violence against the people than in even the worst theocratic state with the possible exception of the Sudan. Even if one leaves aside the obvious differences between Christian and Islamic culture, it is clear that it is placing too much power in the hands of the State that is the heart of the problem, not the religion professed by those in whose hands that power is placed.

Christianity, from the beginning, found itself in fundamental opposition to the State. The first Christians were persecuted for their unwillingness to bow before Caesar while the American revolutionaries fought under the slogan “No king but King Jesus.” Compromise with the State has always weakened Christianity, as the history of the Papal States and the Anglican Church clearly shows.

Secularists who turn to the State to protect themselves from Christian cultural domination are playing a fool’s game similar to that played by Cambodian intellectuals in the early 1970’s, who found themselves being executed for the crime of being able to read. Iormungandr is circular; the dialectic always turns around to devour those who give it birth.

Faith of the Founding Fathers

I’m thoroughly sick of the historical revisionism of the secular separationists. Not only is their position manifestly absurd in light of the congressional prayers, inscriptions on the various Federal buildings and the wording of many historical speeches and documents, but they’ve twisted the concept of “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;” wherein “Congress” means “anyone” and “make no law….” means “shall neither speak nor write any word in public relating positively in any way to the Christian faith.”

Among their cornucopia of errors, they insist that the Founding Fathers were mostly Deist. That’s true, if you cherry-pick from amidst the most famous names and ignore all those men who signed the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and were heavily involved in the Revolution from the start. The known Unitarian/Deists were: Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. The known Christians were: George Washington, Samuel Adams, Alexander Hamilton, Patrick Henry, George Mason, Governor Morris and John Jay. And Deist is not atheist anyhow, as the Paris debates between Thomas Paine and French atheists should suffice to show.

In fact, there were more Christian Bible translators signing the Declaration of Independence than there were Deists. Charles Thompson translated the Greek Septuagint into English, Dr. Benjamin Rush founded the first Bible Society and Francis Hopkinson put together the first American hymnbook. The religious affiliation of the Signers was as follows: 34 Anglicans, 13 Congregationalists, 6 Presbyterians, 1 Baptist, 1 Roman Catholic, and 1 Quaker.

Now, the mere fact of church membership is not certain proof of an individual’s Christian faith, but as no one but God can judge the heart, it is the only reasonable method of determination available to us. One thing that is absolutely certain, however, is that none of them were godless secularists pledged to moral relativism. On this subject, as always, the Left resorts to the perversion of language in order to attempt to build a weak case from nothing. It is amusing that they should uphold the Deists while simultaneously attempting to strike out all references to the Deity.

I am a Christian and a libertarian. I, too, do not wish to see the State create a Church, but not because I care what it would do to the godless. (Nothing, most likely, considering the English example.) Instead, I fear what has happened in England, where the State has corrupted the Anglican church and sucked nearly all the Christianity out of it. If the Church is to thrive, it must never allow itself to be polluted by compromise with the State. But really, in the long term, the entire debate is almost irrelevant. When the American Republic is as dead and dimly remembered as its Roman predecessor, the Christian faith will still be strong, as implacable, inexorable and ineradicable as ever.