Calling All Armchair Theologians

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Fill me in on the latest riff from the Schiavo cluster. The lawyer for Terri Schiavo's parents arguing before a federal judge for the immediate restoration of her feeding tube claimed, "The [state] court has ordered her to ignore her church and even jeopardize her mortal soul."

How's that work? Seriously. Terri Schiavo still has moral culpability for what is done to her? This baffles me. Is this so? Show your work.

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  1. A Catholic can’t morally starve oneself to death. Like any other suicide, that would be failing to show proper respect for God’s gift of life. Indeed, a violation of the 5th commandment. Refusing ventilators is a-okay though, because the Church considers that some kind of extraordinary measure.

    Now, some might say Terri was already starving herself to death while she was still conscious…

  2. As for her moral culpability for the court’s order, I think the impossibility of that is his point. Terri couldn’t possibly want this because it’s a mortal sin, and Terri wouldn’t want to commit a mortal sin. Therefore she couldn’t possibly have wanted to die.

    As far as arguments go, it kinda reminds me of “That’s impossible! My kid would never try to steal your kid’s lunch money! How dare you lie about my son!”

  3. I think Mr. Taylor’s point is: How is she responsible in the eyes of the church. She is not making the decisions. How can the church, her parents, God, or anyone hold her responsible for decisions others are making.

  4. Terry has no will left, so she is not culpable for anything done to her.

    BTW, with all this religion talk, where is her soul? If she’s alive, not with Jesus. So why does the family want to keep her unconscious and away from Jesus altogether? These people are cruel heathen.

  5. “Now, some might say Terri was already starving herself to death while she was still conscious…”

    Oooooh… ZING! LOL.

  6. More to the point, phocion: “How dare you say my son masterbated to internet porn! He knows that’s a sin and would NEVER do such a thing!” πŸ™‚

  7. As I understand Catholic doctrine, this is a self-defeating argument. Letting her die is only suicide if, as her husband claims, she indeed said she would not want to live in the kind of situation she is now in. If she never said that, as her parents claim, then letting her die is murder, not suicide, in which case she would not be morally responsible.

  8. Here’s a little point for you armchair Aquinases: the sin in suicide results from despair and rejection of God’s hope, not from seeking death as the only acceptable outcome. This becomes obvious whenever we read about a “hero” who willingly dies so that someone else may live (as in a ship sinking); the people who stayed on the Titanic so that women and children could get to the lifeboats were not considered sinful, but rather tragic heroes, because circumstances forced them to be.

    Now consider Terry Schiavo. Without the feeding tube she would be dead; a human caretaker cannot feed her, and she can do nothing for herself. In other words, circumstances have taken her ability to live without extraordinary help. She in no way committed a sin in by saying that if this happens to her, she would rather join Jesus in heaven than live without hope of a cure, any more than I would be committing a sin if I said I’d rather die saving my kids from a house fire than watching them burn from safety.

    All this just turns moral theology on its head; but when you’re desparate, you improvise, I guess.

  9. …and by desparate, I meant the Schiavos.

  10. “BTW, with all this religion talk, where is her soul? If she’s alive, not with Jesus. So why does the family want to keep her unconscious and away from Jesus altogether?”

    As I said in another thread, I think they are waiting for a miracle. If they pray, fast, drink strychnine, handle poison snakes, babble in tongues, and believe enough, they expect the Angel Of The Lord (because “God” is too lazy himself, it seems) to come down from on high and heal Terri. Of course, why “God” would wait 15 years to heal her or why he didn’t prevent the heart attack that put her in a PVS is a mystery.

    But the “God” of the Christians/Jews/Muslims does work in “mysterious” (i.e. inefficient, irrational, and unspeakably cruel) ways.

    “These people are cruel heathen.”

    Christianity tends to be a sado-masochistic faith: Suffer and make others suffer in the name of your god.

  11. Akira, the key word here is “expect”, and for those Bible-thumpers here, I got one message for them:

    THOU SHALT NOT PUT THE LORD THY GOD TO THE TEST. (Matthew 4:7)

    Whether you believe in God or not, He doesn’t offer instant gratification. Not even for Randall Terry.

  12. Akira, Amen! πŸ™‚

  13. …she indeed said she would not want to live in the kind of situation she is now in. – Franklin H.

    If Terri did say that, she either disagreed with Catholic doctrine, in which case the court should side with Michael S., or it was just a momentary lapse which all of us fall into sometimes. I might say “I’m going to kill this guy!” without ever seriously meaning that, the next time I’ll see him, I take any adverse reaction against him. That’d put Terri in venial sin territory, and only a contorted view of causality would put the moral burden of Michael’s misinterpretation on her.

    At least that’s what I would’ve figured before I hit the eject button on the whole Catholic thingee.

    Kevin

  14. “THOU SHALT NOT PUT THE LORD THY GOD TO THE TEST. (Matthew 4:7)”

    Tell that to all the true believers willing to fork over their money to faith-healing quacks like Pat Robertson, Oral Roberts, Peter Popoff (who’s still doing his act 20 years after James Randi exposed him on The Tonight Show) and others.

  15. Non sequitor, Akira. One could (and should) point out that just as secularists always presume horrific rational failings in Christians, they themselves create just as many logical thickets.

    There may be ostensible Christians playing into those judgemental, stereotypical Christian = fool myths, but that’s not what’s happening or what’s at stake here.

    Schaivo is not in a coma, and responds to stimuli. Starving her is therefore murder and there’s no evidence she wants to die (or if she did, could legally do so, either alone or with help.)

    Therefore the moral question returns to the primarily leftist secularist fools trying to redefine her as a vegetable in order to pull the plug. Meanwhile her hubby is shacked up, has 2 kids, had denied her treatments and painkillers, and seems to be waiting for the large inheritance she’ll leave behind if/when she dies.

    Somebody tell the world where the moral imperative is to kill someone by starvation and dehydration when they’re still protected by law. Shouldn’t we prevail on the side of life instead of death?

    Amazing how we’re hasty to presume to be judges over another human’s life.

  16. “Tell that to all the true believers willing to fork over their money to faith-healing quacks like Pat Robertson, Oral Roberts, Peter Popoff (who’s still doing his act 20 years after James Randi exposed him on The Tonight Show) and others.”

    Sure. But what does that have to do with Christianity anyway?

  17. Once you publicly commit to the totally ridiculous idea of an invisible pink bunny in the sky chose to speak in vaguest terms to a handfull of people in the middle east 2000+ years ago, is it really so difficult to start spouting other stupid shit with a straight face?

    Somebody needs to start standing up in public and pointing out that these people are pinheads. They should be allowed to believe any half assed idea they want to, but they have already proven that they are too simple minded to be participating in any meaningful way in our public decision making process.

  18. “[Pink bunny beievers] have already proven that they are too simple minded to be participating in any meaningful way in our public decision making process.”

    Well, there’s real tolerance for you…

  19. Here’s a Catholic priest and professor of bioethics calling bullshit on the Schindler family.

    http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2005/03/22/father_john/index.html

  20. “Amazing how we’re hasty to presume to be judges over another human’s life.”

    You took the words right outta my mouth…

  21. “Well, there’s real tolerance for you…”

    Spoken on behalf of the Party That Knows They’re Right And You’re Wrong…

  22. “…calling bullshit on the Schindler family…You took the words [concerning judging life] right outta my mouth…”

    I think you meant over another person’s death, didn’t you?

  23. “Spoken on behalf of the Party That Knows They’re Right And You’re Wrong…”

    Like I said, another non-starting straw man. Or am I missing something?

    You want to assume death is the solution? Where’s your moral or legal imperative?

  24. “Mortal soul?” As opposed to “immortal soul?”
    I don’t know a damn thing about Papist – er, sorry, I mean, uh…’Catholic’ theology.
    But mortal vs. immortal seems like a pretty clear distinction.
    If you’re talking about a “mortal” soul, then you’re talking about something that dies.
    We (*ahem* ‘non-Catholic’) Christians who believe in “immortal” souls aren’t so worried about feeding tubes.
    We are, nevertheless, sorry to hear of this lady’s plight.

  25. Schaivo is not in a coma, and responds to stimuli.

    Multiple doctors have looked her over and said she’s never coming back. There is a fist sized chunk of her cereral cortex that has turned to liquid. That video tape you are watching is a carefully edited segment from 4 hours of footage. She is at best a series of reflexs. Take the tube out and if she reaches for a hamburger we’ll reconsider.

    It’s true she shouldn’t have to starve, doctors should be able to slip her a lethal injection. Heck, if were up to me, I’d slip a little to her control freak parents and the busybodies protesting outside too.

    Well, there’s real tolerance for you…

    How tolerant would you be if some south seas cargo cult started interfering with the judicial process? Give me one good reason why we should be tolerant of such a limited or poorly thought out worldview.

  26. Moral imperative: we are not here to circumvent the will of God. Death is a part of life. We will all die someday, hopefully without becoming a circus sideshow for hypocrites and self-promoters.

    Legal imperative? Nothing legal applies anymore, as the Federal Congress threw out the Constitution to overrule a state court by creating an ex post facto law while asserting dominance over another branch of government. Law has nothing to do with this case anymore, as the Federal government does not have and never has claimed authority over a PROBATE CASE.

  27. Renowned neurologist: Schiavo can eat with aid & is not in ?persistent vegetative state?

    Reminded again tonight on one of the talking head shows about how in the 1930s the Nazis started to put to death retarded people, those with other mental disabilities, senile old folks, handicapped–polio etc etc.

  28. “Give me one good reason why we should be tolerant of such a limited or poorly thought out worldview.”

    Uh, Hitler? You propose fascism. First define for me your standards, then defend them in light of the Constitution, then tell me who watches your watchers.

    You should be ashamed.

  29. Oh fer chrissakes–not another instance of Godwin’s law. And by the same troller masquerading as two posters yet.

  30. “And by the same troller masquerading as two posters yet.”

    He is? If that is the case, 6Gun doesn’t exist in my universe either. πŸ™‚

  31. “Moral imperative: we are not here to circumvent the will of God. Death is a part of life. We will all die someday, hopefully without becoming a circus sideshow for hypocrites and self-promoters.”

    With you for the first half; the second half is pure bias that simply doesn’t follow. More hysterical stereotyping to try and make a half-assed point. Thought Libertarians were all about each to his own. Who put you in charge?

    “Legal imperative? Nothing legal applies anymore, as the Federal Congress threw out the Constitution to overrule a state court by creating an ex post facto law while asserting dominance over another branch of government. Law has nothing to do with this case anymore, as the Federal government does not have and never has claimed authority over a PROBATE CASE.”

    Read: Practical — not legal — virtual mob rule. Agreed. That’s my point. Except the federal govt has a right and obligation to rule on constitutional principles and ethics, of which right to life is paramount.

    IOW, law has everything to do with this case because there has been no sound defense of violating the right to life itself.

    Get real: This all comes down to who’s in charge; an opportunistic hubby, the parents, or the vagaries of a raft of useless lying legislators and oligarchial judges with god complexes.

    Depending on who you pick, you get life or death. What a great system.

  32. Well, Terri Schiavo no longer exists as a person. Whatever she was died when her cerebral cortex went south.

    6Gun,

    Tolerance does not mean lack of criticism. Grow up.

    BillyRay is Godwin’s law in act.

    Note that this “world renowned” doc is a “pro keep them alive at all costs” advocate.

  33. That’s my guess, Akira. Two christers on this board troll out with similar straw man arguments, then independently bring in Hitler/Nazi refrences where they didn’t previously exist–the odds these posters are different people? I get better odds at Foxwoods.

  34. 6Gun/BillyRay,

    Par for the course for the pro-tube crowd, your arguments boil down to unsubstantiated smears.

  35. Link to any article that claims the Doc is a keep em alive at all cost . It’s BS.

  36. “another instance of Godwin’s law.”

    No, an obvious conclusion to the lame arguments presented.

    Let’s review just one:

    “Give me one good reason why we should be tolerant of such a limited or poorly thought out worldview.”

    Yeah, I’ll stand by that being fascist. Sorry.

  37. Grunnels, the only who ever smears around here is you kid.

  38. This mess:

    “How tolerant would you be if some south seas cargo cult started interfering with the judicial process? Give me one good reason why we should be tolerant of such a limited or poorly thought out worldview.”

    Justifies this defense?

    “Tolerance does not mean lack of criticism. Grow up.”

    Sorry, intolerance of a charge of “interfering in the judicial process” can refer to only two things: Public opinion and actual legal means. Both are allowable and both are required to be free.

    I see stifling of dissent, not valid criticism.

  39. BillyRay/6Gun,

    I linked to one in the thread below. Lovely avoidance strategies of yours (avoidance of reality is your modus operandi it appears). πŸ™‚ Here I thought Christians weren’t supposed to lie.

    As to the statement in question, its a far stretch to state that this it is somehow fascist. Nevertheless, note that I tolerate the religious, so long as they keep their paws off my liberty. The problem is that the religious are some of the worst proponents of nanny-statism in this country.

  40. 6Gun/BillyRay,

    Who is stifling you here? No one. Are you going to lie again about efforts to ban you?

  41. For being stifled, 6Gun/BillyRay sure do comment a lot. πŸ™‚

  42. Gunnels, shut up until you have something to say. I’m not BR, you can’t stand ground without going personal, and you make no sense.

    You want to be taken seriously, get it together.

  43. “Depending on who you pick, you get life or death. What a great system.”

    No, it’s dependent on whom you trust to assign your rights as an incapacitated person to. In every state in the country, that right belongs to your spouse unless you state otherwise in writing. This is not a right-to-life case, this is a routine probate case to determine who Terry’s guardian is. Every bit of Florida probate statute deems her husband is that lawful guardian. The United States legal system has no way to determine Florida law and is therefore an inappropriate venue for this case. A first-year law dropout could tell you that.

    You wanna know how this will play out, sport? The judge will be asked to look at all the bullcrap the Schindlers will trot out for the cameras–all the emotional, delusional hopes only they, in their state of denial, consider “evidence”. The judge will–and can–review only the question as to whether the Florida courts committed reversible error–NOTHING ELSE. That would be regarding error of procedure, not law (Federal judges cannot rule on Florida law except as it conflicts with Federal law, and there IS NO FEDERAL PROBATE LAW). He most likely, as the other NINETEEN JUDGES BEFORE, will consider the procedings sufficient to determine Terry’s best interests and decline to order a new trial–which would be at the state level yet again. And he’s not likely to rush to judgment because she’s dying either. End result? She dies, and the Schindlers have to accept that life does end.

  44. 6Gun/BillyRay,

    I’ll speak when I want to speak thankyou very much. Get over yourself and your victimhood mentality.

    cdunlea,

    Don’t confuse them with reality.

  45. 6Gun/BillyRay,

    BTW, thankyou for acting childishly. It was a gratifying vindication of my expectations of you. πŸ™‚

  46. Meanwhile her hubby is shacked up, has 2 kids, had denied her treatments and painkillers, and seems to be waiting for the large inheritance she’ll leave behind if/when she dies.

    Amazing how we’re hasty to presume to be judges over another human’s life.

    Right back at ya, big guy.

  47. “World renowned” [sic] neurosurgeon “nominated for the Nobel Prize” [oh? Nominees aren’t announced in public for fifty years, only winners] who “has never lost his license to practice medicine”–a stunningly impressive credential.

    His magical diagnostic and therapeutic skills rival those of Bill Frist, I’m sure.

  48. I’m still hoping that as an added twist there will suddenly be a break through where scientists will discover that Terri can be saved utilizing a cloning technique that involves stem cells.

  49. cdunlea,

    When you think of 6Gun/BillyRay, keep the song title Thick As A Brick in mind. πŸ™‚

    Good night folks.

  50. “Don’t confuse them with reality.”

    GG,

    As I don’t think 6gun/billyray has anything else to come back with other than “the husband was unfaithful/you sound like Hitler” whines, I don’t expect him to respond with anything meaningful.

  51. Don’t confuse them with reality, deron…

  52. “As I don’t think 6gun/billyray has anything else to come back with other than “the husband was unfaithful/you sound like Hitler” whines, I don’t expect him to respond with anything meaningful.”

    And to think the intellectual giant that is Gary Gunnels called ME a liar…

  53. 6Gun/BillyRay,

    Incoherent rants aren’t going to convince us of much.

  54. suddenly has no bearing on a husband trying to murder (speaking purely technically: to take the life of a living person) his WIFE when he should have divorced her eons ago.

    You’re awfully loose with your words. By your definition, everyone who has ever been confronted with a choice between self-defense and being killed is a murderer, as are the soldiers who were involved in the battle outside of Bagdhad earlier.

  55. 6Gun/BillyRay,

    You lied about a number of things last night. Its one of your significant traits.

  56. [long winded 6gun blather cropped for sanity]

    Your post boiled down to: coulda, woulda, shoulda.

    That’s our world, like it or not. If you don’t, move on to the next one. If you don’t like how America has worked for the past two centuries and want your government swayed by emotional rushes, go to North Korea. America works for the rest of us.

  57. >it’s dependent on whom you trust to assign your rights as an incapacitated person to. In every state in the country, that right belongs to your spouse unless you state otherwise in writing.

    Actually, the only right Michael Schiavo had was to ask the court to make a determination of what Terri’s wishes were and to testify about what she’d told him. He doesn’t have any legal standing to choose whether or not the hospital should continue treatment. He couldn’t take the millions that were offered to him to walk away, and if he divorced her now, it wouldn’t change a thing.

  58. 6Gun/BillyRay,

    Taking the life of another person is known as homicide nitwit; murder is the unlawful killing of another person. And whether he should have divorced her years ago is up to, well, him.

  59. Shem ranges far in search of an angle:

    “By your definition, everyone who has ever been confronted with a choice between self-defense and being killed is a murderer, as are the soldiers who were involved in the battle outside of Bagdhad earlier.”

    How’s that work, exactly, Shem?

  60. Serafina,

    That’s important to note. Post-2000, Michael Schiavo has had little control over her final disposition; the court has ordered that her wishes are to die; whether he is guardian or not makes little difference as far as that is concerned.

  61. 6Gun,

    Taking the life of another human being is not necessarily murder; murder is the unlawful taking of that life. In wartime, etc. people take the lives of others lawfully all the time. Any first year law student knows this basic legal distinction.

  62. Anyway, enjoy feeding the troll, er, I mean 6Gun/BillyRay. πŸ™‚

  63. [Serafina]

    Not true. Schiavo was the de facto guardian of his wife and her determinor of care, much as he would be the legal executor of her estate had she died naturally. The only time a court had to make the determination of her wishes was when the Schindlers, who had no inherent legal standing, challenged Michael on the grounds that he was not acting in her best interests. Every day hospitals act on the instruction of legal guardians empowered to determine whether care continues or not–I know.

  64. Jesus Christ, kill the bitch already so we can rid of these fucking religious k00k trolls.

    Amen.

  65. I think it was 6Gun who mentioned what a bad man Mr. Schiavo is for having a relationship with another woman (and fathering children, no less). One of the talking heads on Fox said the same; he isn’t really much of her husband anymore, so why does he get to say?

    Here’s my question:

    Did he try to have the feeding tube removed BEFORE or AFTER taking up with this other woman? As in, has he been fighting for 15 years to carry out her directive, and eventually decided to have a life?

  66. 6Gun-

    The person who acts in self-defense and takes another life is, on the face of matters, no different from the person who just decides to kill someone without provocation. However, we (or I, at least, you may not) see a difference because there were extenuating circumstances. Your definition of “murder;” speaking purely technically: to take the life of a living person makes no room for this. As I said, you are far too loose with your words for rhetorical purposes.

  67. Thank you, Gary.

  68. WSDave,

    Jesus wants Mr. Schiavo to suffer, too. He’s just a prick that way.

    Having a life is anti-Christian, which explains why most Christians don’t have one (hence their obsession with running the lives of others).

  69. WSDave,

    The sad part is the man visits her everyday, he went to nursing school to help care for her, etc. The B.S. character assassination on the guy is truly sickening to watch, especially as practiced by snake in the grass, scumbag motherfucker DeLay

  70. “…whether he should have divorced her years ago is up to, well, him.”

    That’s most insightful, um, nitwit. (Hadn’t you bailed out? Strength in numbers keep you going?)

    Anyway, that would also be the painfully obvious point…and I said as much had you been lucid at the time.

    Had he divorced her was indeed up to him. But because he didn’t, he uniquely can take her life, homicide, murder, or starvation — whatever you want to call it in your all technically correct perfection.

    Catching on?

    The system hasn’t the wisdom god gave mud…a completely realistic pillar of the Libertarian point of view. And for want of a divorce decree, a life swings in the balance between one who doesn’t want her and parents who do.

    (And with all due respect to Reason, if the braintrusts posting here tonite are the best this movement has, well,…)

  71. BTW, Serafina, Schiavo cannot take the money now to give up (“sell” is the better term, really) his legal rights, and divorcing will not make a difference now, because when the Schindlers started dragging this through the courts Terry became a de facto ward of the state and so her fate is no longer really in her husband’s hands at all, but in the Florida probate court system’s.

  72. I’m aware of the distinction, Shem. It’s the self-defense angle wrt this case that doesn’t follow.

  73. “I think it was 6Gun who mentioned what a bad man Mr. Schiavo is for having a relationship with another woman (and fathering children, no less). One of the talking heads on Fox said the same; he isn’t really much of her husband anymore, so why does he get to say?”

    Wrong. The point is that there is an appearance of conflict of interest integrally related to this case; moral judgements are moot. Meanwhile, pursuant your point about his “deciding to have a life” why cannot her parents become guardians? What’s his “life” got to do with her?

    Is there unassailable evidence she demands to die? Everything I’ve seen says otherwise…

  74. Henry sounds like Hermann Pfannmuller

  75. The self-defense angle was intended to point out the fact that your definition of murder is completely untenable, given the fact that it can’t possibly be extended to the real world with any sort of intellectual integrity. Or do you really believe that all killing is murder?

  76. Terri’s current condition is a heart attack resulting from her anorexia. Anorexia is usually brought on by overly intrusive, controling parents. It turns out that children in such families – usually young white women – often feel an overwhelming need to be perfect and feel that food intake is the only aspect of their life they they have any control over. Even after the original stressors disappear, the anorexic thought patterns get hardwired into their brains and it becomes a chronic condition.

    It’s my bet that the reason Michael won’t divorce her is because he KNOWS that dear old Mom & Dad are STILL trying to control her and he knows how much she suffered at their hands in the past. She probably told him either explicitly or implicitly that she would rather be dead than return to her former existance.

    I don’t think the money is his first consideration and he’s a hero in my book for seeing this thru when he could have bailed

    Of course, none of that is a factor in my contempt for christers and other busybodies. I can hardly wait for the pendulum to start swinging back and we give the assorted nutjobs and panderers the boot they so richly deserve.

  77. What, you can’t pray to the Lord Jesus Christ around here any more?

    Goddamn secularists….

  78. I’m with you, Aaron!

    The crucifixions start at dawn….

  79. I read Fadda Paris’ article, and while I expect he is right on the law, I’ll remain silent on whether his opinion or those of the “fundamentalists” are a more accurate reading of current Catholic teaching. It is clear that the more conservative Catholics and their allies from the other denominations are not happy with him. Finding a Jesuit theolgian who disagrees with the Pope isn’t all that hard. My Jesuit alma mater continues to employ an ex-SJ who is an (in)famous apologist for abortion, Daniel Maguire. I can remember my Dad being grumpy about the several Jesuit schools I applied to. I think if I had suggested going to Fordham he would have burst a blood vessel. Some Conservative Catholics have long thought the Society to be a shortcut to heresy, or worse, apostasy. In my case, my Augustian-educated Dad was right.

    Oh, well, if he happened to be right about the whole religion thing, maybe he can put a word in with the heavenly fixers and see to it that his old team, the Villanova Wildcats, get past the Tar Heels this week. That was a Jesuit school, (Georgetown) they beat back in `85. πŸ™‚

    Kevin

  80. Shem, you’re kidding, right?

    Sure, “murder” isn’t the word to use, but then this impending death doesn’t even have a legal definition yet, so technically, you can call it anything you want in that vein. It’s entirely subjective.

    More simply put, and in a more human context, without such a definition, this death cannot NOT be called just about anything yet, can it? If it’s a false death with illegal motive, it is indeed “murder” — or more accurately homicide. Or as legally odd as this case now is, manslaughter or what have you.

    Yes, it’s rhetorical.

    No I don’t think it’s wise to strictly, literally define this as a murder. But I also do not think we can define it as anything yet. So pardon the hyperbole but until there’s a reasonable definition of what’s likely to come, I’d think calling this an illegal death is, at the least, not out of the realm of eventual possibility.

  81. Akira MacKenzie writes:“These people are cruel heathen.”

    You’d make Karl Brandt proud

    Brandt, testifying at his trial in Nuremburg after the war, insisted:

    “The underlying motive was the desire to help individuals who could not help themselves and were thus prolonging their lives in torment. … To quote Hippocrates today is to proclaim that invalids and persons in great pain should never be given poison. But any modern doctor who makes so rhetorical a declaration without qualification is either a liar or a hypocrite. … I never intended anything more than or believed I was doing anything but abbreviating the tortured existence of such unhappy creatures.”

  82. They really need a law … forcing people to have a living will!! I’m not entirely serious, but oh lordy, if it would spare us sad spectacles and circuses like this … it would almost but not quite be worth forcing people to specify under what circumstances they want to be kept alive or deep frozen or ….

    However, having a choice over whether your brain dead corpse is kept in a living death state or not is not what the religious right wants anyway. They want to make your decision for you “on the side of life”. They just love erring on “the side of life” except on minor issues such as declaring war.

  83. Some clown called Serafina writes:Nobel Prize” [oh? Nominees aren’t announced in public for fifty years, only winners]

    guess you’ve never heard of google. just type http://www.google.com Then search for Dr. William Hammesfahr

    Low and behold, you come up with one article after another like this one

  84. ” Meanwhile her hubby is shacked up, has 2 kids, had denied her treatments and painkillers, and seems to be waiting for the large inheritance she’ll leave behind if/when she dies.”

    Comment by: 6Gun at March 21, 2005 11:02 PM

    “Wrong. The point is that there is an appearance of conflict of interest integrally related to this case; moral judgements are moot.”

    Comment by: 6Gun at March 22, 2005 12:40 AM

    Actually, 6Gun, It looks like you DID say he is a bad husband (just using alot more words). As for denying her treatment and painkillers, everything I’ve heard (including from conservative sources) is that he has provided everything she could use. I can’t imagine any health care professional (and I am one) NOT stepping forward at one of the trials to proclaim the lack of treatment, but none has. It seems a few outside experts have rendered an opinion one way or another, but nobody that’s actually involved with her care has ever had bad things to say about her treatment. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

    Also, from what Fox News says, there is no fortune. Not even life insurance. He’ll get nothing when she dies, whenever that ends up being.

    As for the “appearance of conflict of interest”; what conflict? He gains nothing save for peace of mind. And who cares if there is “appearance” of conflict, if there is no conflict?

    “Meanwhile, pursuant your point about his “deciding to have a life” why cannot her parents become guardians? What’s his “life” got to do with her?”

    I can’t answer the guardianship question, I don’t know the law. As for what his “life” has to do with her, I’d say nothing. Which is why I questioned why YOU brought it up to villify him.

  85. Aaron–spot on. The argument that Michael Schiavo “only wants her out of the way so he can marry his floozy and take the millions” evaporated when he turned down $10 million to walk away and divorce Terri. Maybe I’m wrong, but the only way that makes any rational sense is if he believes at his core that he is doing for Terri what she cannot do for herself–letting her, finally, have her rest.

    If a loved one told me that they’d rather die than be hooked up to a machine, I’d turn down any amount of money, and stand up to DeLay, “Dr.” Frist, Bush, et al to make it happen. That’s why this case angers me–because far from being an abuser, Michael Schiavo seems like exactly the husband you would hope your daughter got–one willing to go through Hell for her.

    And I can tell you flat-out: I’d never do to my daughter what the Schindlers have done to theirs.

  86. Her immortal soul is in jeopardy because it’s been made theoretical. Lots of people have discovered they have a theoretical soul and take aggressive possession of it, like William Earnest Henley and GB Shaw.

    Others notice that it has to do with relations to others and is not an entity at all.

    At the moment, the militant line is being tried. It’s a _whatever works_ deal.

  87. If it’s not wise to “strictly, literally define this as murder” then don’t do it. Resorting to hyperbole only makes you look like a liar who is more concerned with convincing people than remaining true to facts.

  88. That’s not a news story, Billy Ray, that’s a press release.

  89. Hmmmmmm.. you ever notice how 6gun and BillyRay are never in the same place? Sorta like Superman and Clark… (shrug)

  90. Yeah, MNG, you’re so right. I love your posts. You make such good points. Keep up the good work πŸ™‚

  91. You know, if I was going to try to contradict the assertion that the names of non-winning Nobel Prize nominees were not made public for fifty years, instead of linking to a news release*, I might visit the actual FAQ at the official Nobel Prize site, where I might find the following:

    3. Has X been nominated as a candidate for the Nobel Prize, or where do I find a list of Nobel Prize nominees?

    According to the Statutes of the Nobel Foundation, information about the nominations is not to be disclosed, publicly or privately, for a period of fifty years. The restriction not only concerns the nominees and nominators, but also investigations and opinions in the awarding of a prize. Nomination information older than fifty years is public. At this web site the Nomination Databases for the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1901-1949 and for the Nobel Peace Prize, 1901-1951 are now available. Nomination Databases for the other prize categories will follow shortly.

    But that’s just me. Then I might apologize for trying to mislead people, but again, that’s just me.

    *As it happens, I work in the commercial newswire business. Emediawire, and its parent PRWeb, are not in the big leagues. They’re nobodies, who will take releases from pretty much anyone, and run them for free. (A lot of their stuff actually is re-run material from other newswires, which they get through subscribing to those services.) And they do not concern themselves much with whether the content of the releases is factual. Dr. Hammesfahr can claim to be whatever he wants in his news releases; he can claim to be the King of Mars, and Emediawire certainly isnt going to contradict him or refuse to run his releases.

    It is telling that BillyRay can’t tell the difference between a news article and a news release — a news release from the person in question, no less. It actually explains a lot, indicating that BillyRay’s opinions, such as they are, appear to be the product of an undifferentiated, uncriticized and poorly understood amalgam of ideologically-slanted news sources.

  92. Io float a smear tactic Shem Gunnels became a omniscious literalist:

    “If it’s not wise to ‘strictly, literally define this as murder’ then don’t do it. Resorting to hyperbole only makes you look like a liar who is more concerned with convincing people than remaining true to facts.”

    Get a life up, Shem. Take a look at the definition of murder — I recall that unlawful killing is in there — then reconcile the entire case for the world before crapping ot and calling people liars.

  93. I haven’t seen a troll this determined since I saw that last LOTR movie.

  94. Cave troll, or hill troll..?

  95. Mention religion or theology on “Hit and Run” and you quickly have a pile of human bodies uglier than a rugby scrum (former tight-head prop here). The Jesuits (with whom I studied) practically invented sophistry so I’m not surprised that somewhere a staunch Catholic can argue that the brain dead shell of Ms. Schiavo is morally culpable. I suppose the argument is that by telling her husband she did not want to live for decades as an empty husk, she directly contributed to her own death. I suppose one could make the same argument about the condemned prisoner who requests immediate execution rather than appeal. So, what does one make of the man who engages in risky or reckless behavior (like driving a race car or driving really fast) and thus contributes to his own early demise?

    The conservative religious objection is based on the belief that God is squarely in charge of the life and death business…although I see very few fundamentalists refusing life-saving surgery on the theological grounds that such action would meddle with divine will.

    Many Christians (the majority, I daresay) find the Schiavo case agonizing. The decision to allow a person to die by starvation, even a person in a persistent vegetative state, is incredibly difficult. It brings us to the heart of the thorny question: How we determine when a person ceases to be a person? Does a person have a right to end his own life? When a person cannot speak for himself, who shall speak for him? For me, these questions are more interesting than listening to “the ‘Christers’ are all a bunch of raving lunatics” or “letting Schiavo die is murder.”

    For the record, I think the same kind of attacks against Mr. Schiavo would be leveled against the parents with equal vigor if they wanted to let their daughter die. If every member of her family wanted to pull the feeding tube, I suspect someone from the “right to life” movement would be filing court motions and appeals. The religious extremists who use faith to justify interfering in the personal decisions of others do not represent the mainstream Christianity. I think the majority of religious in America look on the Schiavo case with a deep sense of sadness and accept the decisions of her husband and legal system to end an existence that is not a life.

    You may now return to your regularly scheduled scrum.

  96. Yes, and it would be an agonizing decision for most non-christians. I am not an athiest. If anything I am closer to a diest. Some years back the slogan was “god is not dead, he just don’t give a shit.” Kind of have to agree with that.

  97. I am not sure I even know what the issue is anymore. Is it a factual disagreement about whether she is, in any meaningful sense, already dead? Or is it a normative disagreement about whether to keep her bodily functions going even if she is dead? Or are we unable to agree on what constitutes death?

  98. Sumpter Out for Tournament With Injured Left Knee

    Mar 21, 8:58 PM (ET)

    By DAN GELSTON

    VILLANOVA, Pa. (AP) – Villanova forward Curtis Sumpter will miss the rest of the NCAA tournament after a MRI exam Monday revealed that he has a torn ligament in his left knee.

    http://sports.myway.com/news/03212005/v2745.html

    See, there is no god!

    Kevin

  99. Let me start by saying that I’m mostly ignorant of the details of this entire case. πŸ™‚

    First of all, I’ve very little actual interest in the Schiavo case. (Don’t know why, I just really don’t have much of an opinion on it.) However, if it’s true that her cerebral cortex has been replaced by a mass of spinal fluid, then goddamn, this is all a gigantic waste of time. IMHO, that’s not a person in that bed, that’s a lump of organic tissue. Yet I can’t imagine what her parents and husband must be going through, what with the national spotlight and all. Truly tragic.

    Re: intolerance in this thread. As a non-practicing Catholic, it does appear as if there’re perhaps one or two in this thread who seem a little less-than-tolerant of the “Christers.” Just so those dudes know, the vast majority of Christians, in my experience anyway, aren’t big fans of the Roberts of the world. It’s disengenuous to characterize all in this manner, and actually slightly insulting to even those like me, who don’t really care all too much about religion one way or the other.

    I don’t know, maybe substitute another derogatory name (ethnic or religious or sexual – makes me no difference) for Group A, and step back and ponder how tolerant and reasonable that makes one’s arguments seem.

    Peace out, bitches! πŸ™‚

  100. No, there must be a god out there…he just has a wacky sense of humor. Just ask Jim Boeheim.

    Seriously, I find myself becoming more and more of a deist–in the Jeffersonian way, with the analogy of the clockwork universe. It’s not that God doesn’t give a shit about us, guyk; he checks up on us every so often, just to make sure the battery still works, but otherwise he lets the clock work on its own.

  101. Mike H. and the vast majority of we non-christians are not ademately opposed to those who are Christians. What we do oppose is the Chrsitain right, who as the Islamic Mullahs, want to impose their ides of morality upon us. We have a tendacy to respect the beliefs of others providing they respect our beliefs.Most of us with libertarian leanings find the circular logic of all religions hard to buy into.

  102. Phil writes:It is telling that BillyRay can’t tell the difference between a news article and a news release — a news release from the person in question, no less. It actually explains a lot, indicating that BillyRay’s opinions, such as they are, appear to be the product of an undifferentiated, uncriticized and poorly understood amalgam of ideologically-slanted news sources.

    Geeshh. Folks this is the info age. Get a grip Phil. How on earth does the public find out who has been nominated. Because those doing the nominating, former Laureates, Professors, etc etc, release the names to the public so they don’t have to wait 50yrs.

  103. The Federal District Court denied the request to replace the feeding tube. It has now gone to the 11th Circuit (which was already considering a due process claim).

    Summary of the Fed. District Court order (which also contains a link to the text of the order): http://abstractappeal.com/

  104. BillyRay’s doctor in question is the only one of one hundred and fifty to have examined her over the years to make such a recommendation. He is part of the “right to force you live no matter what the circumstances are” crowd (just like Terri’s father who has stated he would hack off her limbs to keep her on the feeding tube) and thus bias can be shown in these affairs.

    There is also the fact that BillyRay has no way of evaluating whether the good doctor’s claims have any merit whatsoever. Indeed, BillyRay’s main means to substantiate them is that the doctor may have been nominated for a Nobel Prize.

  105. BTW, just about anyone can be nominated for a Nobel Prize; nominations and awards go to persons of dubious merit all the time. Just look at the case of Mother Teresa or Arafat.

  106. So I guess they’ll keep shopping until they get a judge who will agree with them. What are we up to now.. number 30? Can Roy Moore step in?

  107. Jose,

    That was the point I was going for yesterday with my “Isn’t all medicine a subversion of God’s will?” post. It seems that apart from aiding the outcome of pro sports games, God likes coming up with horrible tests to see if humans can guess his bidding.

    As to whether or not Ms. Sciavo’s soul is damned because of these proceedings, that depends on the type of God you believe in. If you believe in God the bureaucrat, She’s probably hellbound. After all, she broke the rules. If you believe in an omnipotent God who can consider circumstance, probably heaven-bound. If you’ve reached the conclusion that God/gods are constructs of man to add some unchallengable authority behind whatever the priest/shaman/etc. think you should be doing, She’s headed nowhere.

  108. Sorry Shem Grunnels, but her husband has paid 4 doctors to testify before the courts. There are over 50 neurologist across the country from Stanford, Tulane, UCLA, and UT that have said Ms Shiavo is not brain dead.

  109. I’m happy to report that the Schindler family isn’t so overcome with grief and anguish, that they can’t still make a buck. Her father, Bob Schindler, has been circulating a fund raising letter around the fundie newsgroups, asking for money to help “save Terri.” This letter first appeared after the Florida Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer services filed a complaint against the Terri Schindler-Schiavo Foundation for illegal fund raising, and levied a fine of $1,000 for failing to register the “charity” with the State. The Foundation negotiated a settlement with the State, and agreed to file the necessary paperwork, including a financial report, which they still haven’t done, despite the fact that they are still actively fundraising.

    Mr. Schindler’s letter asks for donations of $10 or $1000, and provides a handy link to process your donation. His letter states that, “Throughout the years, we did not have nay large organizations trying to help rescue our daughter. Consequently, we had to rely on the generiosity of attorneys who were willing to offer their expertise at no cost or at reduced fees.” To view the letter (or, if you’ve lost your mind, make a donation) go to http://www.operationsaveamerica.org/articles/articles/letter-from-terri-shiavos-father.htm

    Jon Eisenberg has written an excellent analysis of just where the Schindler’s legal funding is coming from. Their funding tracks back to The Philanthropy Roundtable, a consortium of conservative Foundations, which receives their funding from organizations that lobby for prayer in schools, and against the teaching of evolution. To review the report, go to: http://blog.bioethics.net/2005/03/have-conservatives-bought-bioethics.html.

  110. Terri is dead but her body and brain stem live on. Terri was a neural network that ceased to exist years ago. She is gone forever, kicked the bucket, bought the farm.

  111. If Terri Schiavo just had a cardiac arrest and collapsed to the floor as her husband says, how on earth did she have compression fractures, a broken back, pelvis, ankle, bone bruises and ossifications.

    And why on earth were her medical records concealed from her parents that showed her real condition for 11 years.

    Michael Schiavo: Loving Husband or Monster?

  112. Just a question. Anyone know who gets the life insurance?

  113. that lobby for prayer in schools

    Heaven forbid. Call out the 101 airborn.

  114. Yeah, Gunnels and I are the same person, that’s why I almost always disagree with him, and we posted on the same exact points. Because that Gunnels, he just has to turn this into theater.

    then reconcile the entire case for the world before crapping ot and calling people liars

    I can’t. There are just too many people involved who genuinely believe that they are acting for Terri’s welfare. Given that fact, and the fact that I have nothing to do with the case, I don’t feel it’s my place to decide. And, given the fact that just about everyone else here, other then you and that troll BillyRay, are sticking to legal arguments, I kind of assume that I’m not in the minority here. So yeah, I’m going to call you on your BS. I may not be able to solve the problem, but I can point out that A: neither can you, and B:You seem incapable of showing any sort of compassion for anyone who doesn’t conform to your narrow view of right and wrong.

  115. Well he won’t divorce her, so I assume all the insurance money goes to the husband. Also, there’s a trust fund(reward from medical malpractrice) that had 1.2 million bucks in it in 1993, money was supposed to go towards her care, but husband has denied her any care since the reward and he’s only used it for lawyers that want to put her down. Over 12yrs later, that trust could be worth several million now.

  116. “See, there is no god!”

    Kevrob, God dishes out the talent here and North Carolina has an NBA prospect at every position. Besides, I had a talk with the big sky tyrant himself and he assured me that my office pool bracket is more important than your alumni allegiances. Seeing as I have North Carolina going all the way — well you’re fucked. Sorry man.

  117. Interesting BillRay. Maybe it is not about life vs. death. Maybe it’s about the money.

  118. Dear (supposedly) “mainstream” Christians,

    Again with the denials that militant freaks “really” represent the views of “most” Christians. At this point, the burden is on YOU–if most of you are mild-mannered Congregationalists, or whatever, quit letting these crazy authoritarian fuckers hijack your putative savior for their political benefit. Police your own dogma–show some balls and combat these assholes, instead of allowing the “idiotic hallucinations of the cow states” (as Mencken once put it) to become the political face of Christianity in America.

    As to the charge of intolerence, HELL YES I am intolerant of belief systems that imperil liberty, especially MY liberty. Christianity (crazed or “mainstream”) is a belief system, nothing more–it is entitled to no deference whatsoever. I judge it soley by its fruits (or fruitcakes, as the case may be)–a standard imposed by its nominal founder, I might add. Ripping fanatics and authoritarians a new ass is not only a pleasure, but an obligation–and it matters not one whit whether the origin of that authoritarianism is dialectical materialism, a fetishism of “Ein Volk”, or delusions about a reanimated dead carpenter. Fuck with liberty, and you are my enemy–period, with no apologies.

  119. BillyRay/6Gun,

    Link please to any story about 50 doctors who have physically examined her and have came to that conclusion. Of course you won’t provide one (as usual) because you can’t!

    Why won’t the family release more than four and a half minutes of the over four hours of videotape they have on the woman? And why are those four and a half minutes filled with abrupt cuts and short snippets?

    The fact that he has used the money for the case is inapposite. Indeed, given what is the case, that she is PVS, it was the right thing for him to do.

    BillyRay/6Gun continue to ignore the fact that the bone scans were taken a year after she was admitted. When a person is in a state such as hers bone breaks are common due to the handling that is required to keep her going. Furthermore, at the trial none of the doctors who were sued for malpractice brought up any claim whatsoever re: a possible homocide; it would have been in their interest to do so of course.

    BillyRay/6Gun will continue to raise claims that have been dealt and dismissed as fanciful innumerable times on this board.

  120. Henry writes:and you are my enemy–period, with no apologies.

    Sounds familiar. It really DOES!!!

    The ideal solution would be to leave the religions to devour themselves, without persecutions. But in that case we must not replace the Church with something equivalent?The heaviest blow that ever struck humanity was the coming of Christianity. Bolshevism is Christianity’s illegitimate child. Both are inventions of the Jew. The deliberate lie in the matter of religion was introduced into the world by Christianity. [Hitler’s Table Talk, p. 6-7]

    Christianity is a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature. Taken to its logical extreme, Christianity would mean the systematic cultivation of the human failure. [Hitler’s Table Talk,p. 51]

    Christianity, of course, has reached the peak of absurdity in this respect. And that’s why one day its structure will collapse. Science has already impregnated humanity. Consequently, the more Christianity clings to its dogmas, the quicker it will decline.
    [Hitler’s Table Talk, pp 58-62]

    The decisive falsification of Jesus’s doctrine was the work of St Paul….For the Galilean’s object was to liberate His country from Jewish oppression. He set Himself against Jewish capitalism, and that’s why the Jews liquidated Him….The Jews, by the way, regarded Him as the son of a whore and a Roman soldier. [Table Talk, p. 76]

    Christ was an Aryan and St Paul used his doctrine to mobilize the criminal underworld and this organize a proto-Bolshevism…. Christianity is an invention of sick brains….The war will be over one day. I shall then consider that my life’s final task will be to solve the religious problem. [Hitler’s Table Talk p. 142-4]

    Many more, but methinks I got my point accross

  121. The money from the civil suit is gone; its gone because of (a) the legal costs (which took up about $400,000) and (b) her care (the rest).

    BillyRay constantly talks about a future disbursement of “insurance money” without substantiating that any actually exists.

  122. BillyRay,

    Keep in mind that you are the anti-semite here. Also keep in mind that you are individual who has on innumerable occassions bitched about gay people exercising their rights as citizens. Given your past behavior its quite laughable that you are claiming that another person is just like Hitler.

  123. You know I consider Communists to be my enemy and the enemy of humanity; does that make me the next Hitler? No. Why not? Because just because they are my enemy I respect their rights under the Constitution just like I respect the rights of members of the KKK and other organizations and ideologies I find foul.

  124. And let’s note that all of BillyRay’s quotes are inapposite. Not a single one has any relevance whatsoever to the statement he quotes from Henry.

  125. In typical fashion, our local troll tries to smear people or substantiate his claims with irrelevant information.

  126. Henry,

    Apparently anyone who is irreligious or an atheist is current or future Hitler. πŸ™‚

  127. Almost 50 neurologists all say the same thing: Terri should be reevaluated, Terri should be reexamined, and there are grave doubts as to the accuracy of Terri?s diagnosis of PVS. All of these neurologists are board-certified; a number of them are fellows of the prestigious American Academy of Neurology; several are professors of neurology at major medical schools.

    Starving for a Fair Diagnosis

  128. I now see the error of my ways, BillyRay. The moment I came to the conclusion that all religion(Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Sikhism, etc.) was controlling nonsense I didn’t simply start choosing follow my own values, I became a Nazi. I guess I’d better repent.

    On second thought, I think I’d rather to continue to base my decisions on facts, rather than faith or belief.

  129. Good for you Dave. I’m happy for ya. As for comments about Henry, they’re right on the money!

    Kill Kill Kill. Christians, Christers I hate these fuckers. Boy, sounds like he’s a candidate for the rubber room.

  130. BillyRay,

    Sorry, that won’t do at all.

    Here is your original claim:

    Sorry Shem Grunnels, but her husband has paid 4 doctors to testify before the courts. There are over 50 neurologist across the country from Stanford, Tulane, UCLA, and UT that have said Ms Shiavo is not brain dead.

    Here is my request:

    Link please to any story about 50 doctors who have physically examined her and have came to that conclusion. Of course you won’t provide one (as usual) because you can’t!

    Here is your follow-up statement:

    Almost 50 neurologists all say the same thing: Terri should be reevaluated, Terri should be reexamined, and there are grave doubts as to the accuracy of Terri?s diagnosis of PVS. All of these neurologists are board-certified; a number of them are fellows of the prestigious American Academy of Neurology; several are professors of neurology at major medical schools.

    Troll, reading comprehension is not on your best skill it appears. Even the statement you provide doesn’t support your original claim, much less meet the requirements of my request. That’s me laughing at you. πŸ™‚

  131. Again with the denials that militant freaks “really” represent the views of “most” Christians. At this point, the burden is on YOU–if most of you are mild-mannered Congregationalists, or whatever, quit letting these crazy authoritarian fuckers hijack your putative savior for their political benefit. Police your own dogma–show some balls and combat these assholes, instead of allowing the “idiotic hallucinations of the cow states” (as Mencken once put it) to become the political face of Christianity in America.

    Henry, I don’t any of us who have any, however slight, inclination towards Christianity feel much of a need to differentiate ourselves. To us, well me anyway, it’s obvious: the nuts do not represent the vast majority of us. They’re extremists, pure and simple. It’s like asking a liberal to defend him or herself against the American Communist Party. It’s completely ludicrous.

    I’d argue that it’s you who’ve fallen prey to the propaganda of your intolerant views on Christianity, and your wrong-headed assumption that we’re all like that.

    Or maybe it’s that the burden of proof rests upon you? Since you seem to be the one making the charge that we’re all a bunch of nuts who’d like to subvert your liberty and turn the Republic into a Christian state. Show me some evidence that your gross overgeneralizations carry an ounce of truth regarding what “most” Christers beleive, and then maybe some of us will feel the need to explain.

    For my part, though, I just don’t care enough about religious issues. I see Christian extremists as what they are: nuts whose views represent not a majority, but a minority.

    It’s not even that it’s the Christian nuts who’ve put this odd face of Christianity forward to the rest of the nation, it’s nuts like you who insist that this is true.

  132. BillyRay,

    You do realize that when you lie (and you do it often I am afraid), that you completely undercut any reason to believe anything that you state. You lose your audience because your inconsistencies blow apart whatever validity your claims might have. At this point there would be no reason to believe any statement that you might make on the matter. As an attorney you’d lose in court and likely be disbarred.

    And the only person demanding the deaths of Christians is, well, you.

  133. Grunnels, you’re the only little punk up here who lies kid. You’re pathetic. A loser in the game of life.

  134. Mike H:

    A fucking snakehandler was the last attorney general of the United States–and I’m delusional about the modern face of Christianity in this country?

    Get fucking real. You are either lying to yourself or us, in severe denial, or are oblivious.

  135. Mike H.,

    Well, to be frank, it is true that a large portion of Christians are interested in limiting my liberty. Be they making efforts to stop me from saying “fuck” or making my own end of life decisions. This isn’t a small fraction of Christians.

  136. So I said over 50. Instead, it’s almost 50. As this was discussed last night on every talking head show on MSNBC, FOX and CNN.

  137. BillyRay, the issue of whether or not Terri is truely in a PVS troubled me enough to read a few blurbs on various blogs and news sites. Every thing I read stated that according to modern medical conseneus Terri is indeed in a PVS and will not recover without a miracle. Since your posting of alternative view points I’ve tried to branch out in an attempt to see if my initial assesment was off base. While I appreciate the contrarian links, I think Terri is indeed in a PVS because the courts on more than one occasion have ruled that’s the case. From a blog summary that agrees with what I’ve read:

    When the Second District first reviewed the trial court’s decision that Terri would chose not to live under her present circumstances, the appellate court expressed no reservations when it explained that Terri was and “will always remain in an unconscious, reflexive state, totally dependent upon others?” In October, 2002, as a result of Terri’s parents’ claims that treatment options offered promise to restore some of Terri’s cognitive functioning, the Second District ordered the trial court to hold a trial on that issue. The trial court did so, and in the course of that trial the parties litigated whether Terri is in a persistent vegetative state. The trial court heard testimony from five experts: two selected by Michael, two selected by the Schindlers, and one independent expert selected by the trial court. The two experts selected by Michael and the independent expert agreed that Terri was in a persistent vegetative state and that her actions were limited to mere reflexes. The two experts chosen by the Schindlers disagreed, but the trial court found their positions not credible. For instance, the trial court explained:
    At first blush, the video of Terry Schiavo appearing to smile and look lovingly at her mother seemed to represent cognition. This was also true for how she followed the Mickey Mouse balloon held by her father. The court has carefully viewed the videotapes as requested by counsel and does find that these actions were neither consistent nor reproducible. For instance, Terry Schiavo appeared to have the same look on her face when Dr. Cranford rubbed her neck. Dr. Greer testified she had a smile during his (non-videoed) examination. Also, Mr. Schindler tried several more times to have her eyes follow the Mickey Mouse balloon but without success. Also, she clearly does not consistently respond to her mother. The court finds that based on the credible evidence, cognitive function would manifest itself in a constant response to stimuli. The experts also disagreed about whether any treatment could improve Terri’s condition. The two experts selected by the Schindlers each proposed a potential therapy method, but the trial court rejected both of them based on “the total absence of supporting case studies or medical literature.” Affirming those decisions, the Second District explained that it, too, reviewed the videotapes of Terri in their entirety as well as Terri’s brain scans. The appellate court explained that it not only affirmed the decision but that, were it to review the evidence and make its own decision, the court would reach the same result reached by the trial court.

    So my question to BillRay or 6gun is: what part of the second district’s analysis was flawed? What are they missing?

    I’ve come to the same conclusions they did and would like to know where we’re both going wrong.

  138. BillyRay,

    You have clearly lied on a number of occasions. I have just caught you in another one (look at the highlighted language above). You’re just avoiding reality again. There’s not much I can do with someone who avoids reality. But here, I’ll give you a chance fucktard. Try to synthesize the above highlighted language so that it doesn’t mean what I write that it states; prove me wrong in other words.

  139. Mike,

    I’m not going to presume to speak to Henry, but from my perspective it is the more outspoken Religious Right who do claim to speak for all Christians in America. While I agree with you that they don’t really represent the values of all christians, it is the duty of someone who is alledgedly represented to stand up and claim otherwise if they don’t share their beliefs.

    I would guess that if they succeed in marginalizing non-Christians, those in charge of the most powerful sect would attempt to marginalize the other sects as well. That’s not a idictment of Christianity as it is an indictment of human nature and people with power.

  140. BillyRay,

    No, this is what you wrote originally:

    Sorry Shem Grunnels, but her husband has paid 4 doctors to testify before the courts. There are over 50 neurologist across the country from Stanford, Tulane, UCLA, and UT that have said Ms Shiavo is not brain dead.

    This is how you substantiated it (of course I am leaving out what I actually asked for, which you never provided):

    Almost 50 neurologists all say the same thing: Terri should be reevaluated, Terri should be reexamined, and there are grave doubts as to the accuracy of Terri?s diagnosis of PVS. All of these neurologists are board-certified; a number of them are fellows of the prestigious American Academy of Neurology; several are professors of neurology at major medical schools.

    Sorry, the latter does not support the former. “Grave doubts” do not equal the definitive conclusions that you earlier claimed that they had made. Grow up and admit that you didn’t actually verify your claim.

  141. Oh, and here is what I asked for regarding your first statement:

    Link please to any story about 50 doctors who have physically examined her and have came to that conclusion. Of course you won’t provide one (as usual) because you can’t!

    And of course my prediction turned out to be correct!

  142. The fact that BillyRay and his brethren automatically raise the Hitler/Nazi argument when considering alternatives to a religious worldview, points to a terrible lack of imagination on their parts. Can’t you come up with something a little bit more creative?

    While you’re at it, explain to me how it is that Hitler was able to rise to power in a country whose population was over 70% Catholic.

  143. A fucking snakehandler was the last attorney general of the United States–and I’m delusional about the modern face of Christianity in this country?

    Get fucking real. You are either lying to yourself or us, in severe denial, or are oblivious.

    So now I’m to believe that John “The Snake” Ashcroft represents the majority of Christians? Could you provide some evidence, please?

    Well, to be frank, it is true that a large portion of Christians are interested in limiting my liberty. Be they making efforts to stop me from saying “fuck” or making my own end of life decisions. This isn’t a small fraction of Christians.

    Ok, frank. HA!

    Sure, Gunnels, there’s a large amount of people who happen to be Christian who also happen to want to restrict our liberty.

    But how does this translate into a majority? It seems to me, and I could be wrong as I have no stats to back this up, but it seems to me that most Christians are perfectly content to let all believe what they wish, and do what they wish.

    I’m sure we could look at polls where something like 80% of Christians apparently don’t like porn, but that’s different from saying that 80% think it should be outlawed and those who consume it should be burned at the stake.

    I don’t know, maybe I am deluding myself. Maybe I’m projecting my libertarian’ish views upon others…

    Are there any reliable polls showing, just for example, Christians who’re personally opposed to abortion but think that it’s something that the government shouldn’t legislate? Or, more on topic I guess, the right-to-die question?

    This could be faulty reasoning, but here it goes. It appears that the majority of Americans are Christian, no? It also appears that the majority of Americans support Schiavo’s right-to-die. Maybe this is evidence that a majority of Christians don’t want to force their views on others…? (Or maybe it is – maybe they only think that because to them it’s painfully obvious that there’s nothing left but a shell?)

  144. BillyRay,

    And other doctors disagree. And no doctor, as you have earlier claimed, agrees with this one’s specific conclusions. Some doctors want more tests, etc., but none has come to the specific conclusions that this one has.

  145. I guess the Noble Prize committee missed Hammesfahr’s published work in the peer-reviewed National Enquirer, a work the Dr. proudly proclaims on his own website.

    http://hni-online.com/national_enquirer_1999.htm

  146. BTW, BillyRay brings up an interesting point about bias. He/she implied that the Schiavo doctors were biased (this was about the same time that BillyRay lied about fifty doctors concluding that she isn’t in a PVS); what makes the Schindler doctors (Hammesfahr) any less biased in BillyRay’s eyes? Because of BillyRay’s bias.

    BillyRay,

    You continue to avoid this question: why has the family only distributed four and a half minutes of four and a half hours videotape, and why is the four and half minutes full of abrupt cuts and short snippets?

  147. Earlier in this thread Henry wrote:

    Jesus Christ, kill the bitch already so we can rid of these fucking religious k00k trolls.

    Amen.

    Comment by: Henry at March 22, 2005 12:24 AM

    I replied:

    Henry sounds like Hermann Pfannmuller

    Comment by: BillyRay at March 22, 2005 12:46 AM

    Over the next few months, a committee set out to establish practical means by which such “mercy deaths” could be granted to other children who had no prospect for meaningful life. The hospital at Eglfing-Haar, under the direction of Hermann Pfannmuller, M.D., slowly starved many of the disabled children in its care until they died of “natural causes.” Other institutions followed suit, some depriving its small patients of heat rather than food. Medical personnel who were uncomfortable with what they were asked to do were told this was not killing: they were simply withholding treatment and “letting nature take its course.”

    Over time Pfannmuller set up Hungerhauser (starvation houses) for the elderly. By the end of 1941, euthanasia was simply “normal hospital routine.”

  148. It is easy, Henry, to smear a large group based on the activities of subset. I see it happen to libertarians frequently. Most Christians go about the business of life quietly, paying taxes, raising families and attending church without beating anyone with a Bible. In my experience living in free nations, most Jews, Hindus, Muslims and adherents of other religions practice the same sort of quiet lives of faith without unduly bothering the neighbors or frightening the horses. In my experience most persons of faith simply desire to live a free life and have no desire to jam religion down anyone’s throat.

    In a free nation, anyone is free to claim the imprimatur of a religion or a religious figure. How is there a burden on a person of faith if someone chooses to exercise his freedom of speech to claim he is acting on the divine authority of the God Almighty? Would you have persons of faith engage in the same intolerance you celebrate?

    If you wish to find your enemy, Henry, check the mirror. Intolerance breeds intolerance. Liberty is best defended by tolerating the freedom of others in all of its wacky forms. This includes the basic freedom to engage in nonrational behaviors like religion or “March madness.”

    And Mr. Gunnels, I expect Christians don’t care if you say “fuck.” They simply prefer you don’t say it in front of the children in the local market. As for you end of life decisions, the laws of America upholds your right to make your decision. Had Ms. Schiavo articulated her desires in a legal, written form, I doubt we would be having this discussion.

    Oh, one final note, the following passage is from the Lutheran statement on end-of-life decisions:

    Because competent patients are the prime decision-makers, they may refuse treatment recommended by health care professionals when they do not believe the benefits outweigh the risks and burdens. This is also the case for patients who are incompetent, but who have identified their wishes through advance directives, living wills, and/or conversation with family or designated surrogates.

  149. Mike H.,

    It seems to me, and I could be wrong as I have no stats to back this up..

    At least you are honest about that. πŸ™‚

    I don’t know, maybe I am deluding myself. Maybe I’m projecting my libertarian’ish views upon others…

    Maybe.

    Are there any reliable polls showing, just for example, Christians who’re personally opposed to abortion but think that it’s something that the government shouldn’t legislate? Or, more on topic I guess, the right-to-die question?

    We’d have to Google that. As I am only allotting another four ten minutes or so to blogging today, I might have to get back to you with that.

    (Or maybe it is – maybe they only think that because to them it’s painfully obvious that there’s nothing left but a shell?)

    That may be the correct interpretation.

  150. Because if we watched the whole tape, we would be reminded that in the same situation, we’d want a pillow placed over our faces.

    Mike, you’re shooting holes in your argument. The Christian leaders who get all the publicity are implying that all Christians feel (or if “really Christian” should feel) the way they do. There are relatively few who are championing the rational viewpoint that you seem to hold. The ones who do, don’t outwardly say that they are Christian, and no these evangelist do not speak for me. That can be interpreted as tacit approval.

    Like I said earlier, I believe you’re correct that not all Christians are Fundamental nuts. I just don’t think the nuts think that.

  151. Mr. Gunnels, have you ever known me to be anything less than honest on here? It seems as if you and I never agree on anything, but honesty is something I take fairly seriously.

    But at least you’re not nasty. That Henry fellow, on the other hand, well, sounds like he could use a little Jesus in his life! (Man, you know he’s foaming at the mouth and pounding on his keyboard after reading that one!)

    πŸ™‚

  152. BillyRay,

    Substantiate your “fifty doctors” claim.

    Answer my question about the video.

    Jose,

    Apparently you haven’t heard of the movement to ban “fuck” and other like words from the language and thus erase their First Amendment protection. Its more than an issue of broadcasting (and note that the good Senator from Alaska and the FCC are going after Cable soon enough).

    As for you end of life decisions, the laws of America upholds your right to make your decision.

    Actually, in the U.S. all manner of end of life decisions are barred (except for in Oregon in certain circumstances). I cannot legally end my life on my own, nor may I get a physician to aid me in my death via some chemical agent. The end of life decision I have is whether to pull a feeding tube or equipment that is keeping me alive. I may not take positive steps to end my life.

  153. Mike, you’re shooting holes in your argument. The Christian leaders who get all the publicity are implying that all Christians feel (or if “really Christian” should feel) the way they do. There are relatively few who are championing the rational viewpoint that you seem to hold. The ones who do, don’t outwardly say that they are Christian, and no these evangelist do not speak for me. That can be interpreted as tacit approval.

    Yeah, I know I am. But that’s because I’m not certain – I’m (yikes!) going off of feeling here, dude.

    Like I said earlier, I believe you’re correct that not all Christians are Fundamental nuts. I just don’t think the nuts think that.

    Probably.

    I think that most Christians are in the “silent majority.” We all know that these guys are nuts, so why the need to make a big deal out of them? We just assume that everyone else realizes they’re nuts, too. Hence the misunderstanding.

    I’m a uniter, boys. Now, after all that, anyone wanna hear my pro-war views? πŸ™‚

  154. And of course organizations like the RCC demand that I may not legally seek out aid in ending my life when I want to.

  155. Tell ya what, Gunnels, if you ever need help ending your life, I’ll consider it my Christian duty and an act of mercy. Said act may or may not be merciful for you, but it will most certainly be merciful for the rest of us.

    *BLAM!*

    (Just kidding, Gunnels. …Kinda.)

  156. It’s only a problem if the nuts are in position to enact laws enforcing their interpretations of faith by using the leverage they gain from the fact that a large majority of Americans are Christian, and myth that they speak for all of them.

    Politicians will listen to money and votes which is why they’ve all starting whoring out their “faith” lately, when you didn’t hear a peep from most of them pre-Election ’04.

  157. Jose-

    Actually living wills may be useless if you happen to be admitted to a Catholic hospital or are attended by a physican who holds pro-life views. Many states have enacted “Conscience” laws that allow healthcare providers to direct treatment that is line with their own religious views. Originally these laws were enacted to protect doctors who did not want to be forced to perform abortions. Their application has been enlarged to include all manner of medical treatment, though.

    Say I’m in a car accident, and am transported to the only hospital in my community, that happens to be managed by the RCC. Or to a public hospital, but am treated by a Doctor who holds pro-life views. His or her right to exercise their conscience may trump my own expressed wishes as written in a living will.

    Much of my work is with nonprofit hospices. (yes, BillyRay, those “purveyors of death” and “Nazi death houses” I’m always getting e-mails about). You have to be very careful when drafting a living will, or a better document, a durable power of attorney. I’ve had to amend mine to include clauses that stipulate that I not be treated by Doctors, or admitted to institutions that hold to a prolife ideology. I also stated that I did not consider myself a member of RCC faith.

    This became necessary after my Opus Dei-influenced brother began making noises about my living will not being valid because it derived from an “unformed conscience.” I was afraid that my baptism into the RCC faith might be used to make a legal claim — as has happened in the Schiavo case — that my religious rights would be violated if treatment of artificial life support have to be withdrawn. I haven’t been a member of any church in a couple of decades, but some RCC’s seem to think that once one is baptised, one is always a Catholic.

  158. I think that most Christians are in the “silent majority.” We all know that these guys are nuts, so why the need to make a big deal out of them? We just assume that everyone else realizes they’re nuts, too.

    Either that or they’re concerned that if someone starts looking closely at the basic premises of the belief structure, they’ll start pointing and laughing at them too.

  159. Mike H.,

    And vice versa (except the Christian charity part). πŸ™‚

    Actually, if he law hasn’t changed in the U.S. by that time (and Oregon’s law is kaput), I plan on flying to Switzerland and ending my life there. I wouldn’t want to get anyone is trouble with the authorities over the matter.

  160. BillyRay, your link to a HannityColmes interview of doctor Hammesfahr does nothing to dissuade me from my view that Terri is in a PVS because no where in the interview does Hammesfahr or Hannity explain what the court missed. Hammesfahr is the doctor who testified on Shiavo’s parents behalf at the trial. He is not independent of this case. In the interview Hammesfahr simply reiterates part of his testimony in the trial. Most of that testimony revolves around his view of the tapes, which have been contradicted by from what I can tell is a vast majority of medical professionals.

    Now maybe you are but I am certainly not a trained medical professional. I cannot tell from the online snippets what is going on in Terri’s head. Even if I could make an accurate determination of Terri’s mental state I would need the full tape, not just a few snippets. So I have to trust someone in this case as do you. I side with the husband’s doctors on the issue of Terri’s mental state because the court did multiple times. And the court didn’t just agree with the husband’s doctors over the parent’s doctors, it asked for the opinion of independent doctors who also agreed she was in a PVS.

    Now from what I can tell of your links, they all point back to not 50 or 33 doctors but one: Hammesfahr. What makes you believe him over several other doctors and the opinion of the Florida Court system and the Supreme Court? From the trial:

    With respect to the judge’s opinion of the credibility of the medical experts designated by the Schindler family, he said: “Dr. Hammesfahr testified ? he gave 105 commands ? Mrs. Schindler gave an additional 6 commands ? he asked her 61 questions and Mrs. Schindler, at his direction, asked her an additional 11 questions. [total 183]. The court saw few actions that could be considered responsive to either these commands or those questions. While Dr. Hammesfahr testified that she squeezed his finger on command, the video would not appear to support that and his reaction on the video likewise would not appear to support that testimony.” (p. 5) (24)

  161. Gary Gunnels,
    Not if there were a law to prevent the terminally ill from traveling to Switzerland specifically engineered to block people from doing so.

  162. First off, I’m a polemicist and a bombthrower–I don’t want to be a diplomat or a healer. But, inadvertantly, perhaps I will help create the middle ground where others can engage in such activities. Good luck with that.

    That being said, there are certainly Christians who aren’t knee-jerk, power-mad statists (once they taste power). If you are looking for some of them on the internet, for example, go over to Lew Rockwell’s site. Of course the Christians over there mock the “the end of the world is coming but we don’t give a shit ’cause we’re gonna be raptured up with Jeeezuz!” crowd almost as vocifierously as I do (minus the cursing, of course). And many of the old paleo-cons are devout Christians. These groups, however, are fairly marginal, I’m sorry to say.

    Then there is the still sizeable block of Christmas & Easter Christians, who are only “Christians” because that was the nominal faith of their parents. They basically zero out each other politically.

    But the only sizeable–and it is VERY sizeable–active political block of self-professed Christians in this country are the fucking Christers, as I like to call them–the goddamn nutcase holy roller authoritarians who used to routinely mocked by all with a brain (hence my earlier mention of Mencken’s quip about the ?idiotic hallucinations of the cow states?).

    Mike and whoever else can stamp their feet all they like, but these are the fuckers driving the Christian bus, politically, in this country. And they are goddamned real menace to liberty, which is all that matters to me. If someone wants to believe in Christ, Allah, the Buhhda or Scientology, I don’t give a shit JUST AS LONG AS YOU LEAVE THE REST OF US ALONE. I’m not in here tossing bombs at the fucking Amish, or Mennonites, or Unitarians, or the residents of Kiryas Joel, or Sufi Muslims, or countless others–God bless them, if he’s around. But I will vehemently oppose these Christer cocksuckers until my dying breath, so long as they remain a menace.

    Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice, y’all.

  163. David,

    Don’t give them any ideas!!! πŸ™‚

    Lincoln Ellis,

    Nice fisking. πŸ™‚

  164. Sorry, GG, just pointing out a logical future step.

    Frankly, I’m surprised that the DEA & ONDCP and the Religious Right haven’t pushed for a ban on trips to Amsterdam…

    Yet.

  165. I have some important comments to make…but first, I must pee. I will be back to give my 2 cents.

  166. Everyone please pray that the rapture may soon come – so we can get these freaks out of here!

  167. While you’re at it, explain to me how it is that Hitler was able to rise to power in a country whose population was over 70% Catholic. -Emmetropia – Emmetropia

    Emmetropia,

    I have a few examples that might explain it nicely:

    From Mike H.:

    Just so those dudes know, the vast majority of Christians, in my experience anyway, aren’t big fans of the Roberts of the world. It’s disengenuous to characterize all in this manner, and actually slightly insulting to even those like me, who don’t really care all too much about religion one way or the other.

    I think that most Christians are in the “silent majority.” We all know that these guys are nuts, so why the need to make a big deal out of them?

    And from Jose Ortega y Gasset:

    Most Christians go about the business of life quietly, paying taxes, raising families and attending church without beating anyone with a Bible.

    I think Mike H. and Jose are absolutely right (and that is a huge problem for freedom in most political systems): most Christians are everyday people who just want to be “idiots” (read: private citizens) left alone to read their daily paper uncritically, go to church on Sundays (or twice a year, if a non-regular,Christmas-Easter believer), and take their children to the park on a nice day. They are completely indifferent to and/or unknowlegable of complex political issues which end up setting precedents (and creating laws, which therefore, in the end, actually do affect their daily activities.) Want to take your dog to the park, too? Better have a license for that dog. And in many cities, a pooper scooper, if you don’t want to be fined and/or otherwise criminally punished.

    This has a snowball effect. Case in point: Nazi Germany. I studied German history for many years, and political indifference is an amazingly strong force working for the Fundamentalists, Nazis, and other nutjobs. Mike’s and Jose’s comments are typical examples of mainstream-Christian apologists, using the mantra “live and let live” as an excuse for their tacit consent for Christian values turned into forcible law. And, Mike and Jose, since you’re on a political weblog, albeit a Libertarian one (and true Libertarians are the real defenders of personal freedom), this isn’t the place to be crying Bigotry and Intolerance. So suck Henry’s comments up (and others’ like his). Kudos to Henry for at least attempting to make a third, common ground for his polemic comments – at least they’re better than your lame generalizations. Don’t play the Intolerance card simply because your theology can’t stand up to logic or discussion, or because you and other armchair Christians are too lazy otherwise defend your own freedoms, and leave the real Libertarians to do so for you.

    More comments from Jose: How is there a burden on a person of faith if someone chooses to exercise his freedom of speech to claim he is acting on the divine authority of the God Almighty?

    Well, if you claim you are one of that person’s group, and you call yourself a Christian, then it’s your job to defend your beliefs publicly, especially when the threat exists that beliefs that are not yours as a Christian (but are misrepresented as your version of “Christianity”) may be turned into public government policy. Yep, it’s your responsibility, as that wacko’s Christian brethren.

    That’s why I strayed from the flock.

    And Mr. Gunnels, I expect Christians don’t care if you say “fuck.” They simply prefer you don’t say it in front of the children in the local market.

    Again, they don’t “simply prefer” that you don’t say it. They legislate a law to prevent you from ever doing it as a freewilled being!

    Finally, on a non-religious note:

    I cannot tell from the online snippets what is going on in Terri’s head. Even if I could make an accurate determination of Terri’s mental state I would need the full tape, not just a few snippets. So I have to trust someone in this case as do you. ?Lincoln Ellis

    The truth is, you can’t equate “making an accurate determination of Terri’s mental state” with “seeing the full tape”. Even if you saw the full tape, or watched her face-to-face for days, you couldn’t possibly know what is going on in her head. The fact is, if she’s in a PVS, in order to make the case that she have her feeding tube, all you really need is only ONE example of someone previously coming out of a PVS. Is it really Permanent? Can we know if it’s Permanent? Has someone ever come out of a “PVS”? Regardless, my more important point is that even if she doesn’t come out of it, nobody can prove that simply because she isn’t responding to external stimuli means that she isn’t having internal thoughts and experiences still. It’s Philosophy 101, kids.

    I don’t know if anyone has ever come out of a PVS. But I do know, that if people decide to keep her feeding tube in, that the parents (or legal guardian) should have to pay for it, not the taxpayers or the state.

  168. Smacky,

    Christianity and Nazi Germany:

    http://secularhumanism.org/library/fi/paul_23_4.html

    Only part one is online.

  169. If you commit suicide, Mr. Gunnels, and face legal stiff sanctions, I will personally fund an attorney to provide a vigorous defense. If you have no objection, I prefer you attend the proceedings in an urn… as to avoid an unpleasant smell if the trial bogs down.

    As for your comments, Henry, the world is full of people who want to control other people. A statist need not be religious. Frankly, I feel better protected from those who have an overt religious agenda than from those who have a covert religious agenda like many modern environmentalists. Personally, I doubt you will create a middle ground with scorched earth rhetoric. More likely, you will help create religious zealots who will serve you far better if it is an enemy you seek.

    Personally, I find apathy and ambivalence better allies of liberty than intolerance and extremism. I cherish those neighbors and fellow citizens who do not give a rat’s ass about what I do or with whom I do it. You, Henry, strike me as a hammer in constant search of a nail.

  170. Personally, I find apathy and ambivalence better allies of liberty than intolerance and extremism.

    Again, cry “intolerance” at a perfectly rational, reasonable viewpoint because it is not your own. Cry, baby.

    I cherish those neighbors and fellow citizens who do not give a rat’s ass about what I do or with whom I do it.

    I do, too. But I could do away with the ones that aren’t smart enough to comprehend when their own liberties are being jeopardized by political opportunists trying to gain favor with the indifferent Christian masses. There is a big difference that you do not appreciate or seem to understand there. Just wait until you experience true fascism. With that attitude, it’ll come sooner than you think.

  171. Oh, no–believe me, we have plenty enough nails in this country nowadays. We just need many crosses to match them.

    Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

  172. Damn Smacky, no wonder you had to pee first. Great post, a much better illustration of what I was going for.

  173. What we have here are “mainstream Christian” Christer-enablers. I believe that many of them genuinely find the loonies unpalatable–but when faced with nonbelievers, they, invariably, will make common cause with the Christer K00ks. They are “the good Germans” of modern America.

  174. They are “the good Germans” of modern America.

    Henry,

    You said in a single sentence what I was getting at for countless paragraphs. Apologies for my lack of brevity. I just think I needed to type a lot in order to get to that thought.

  175. Despite appearances, I can actually argue a case lucidly now and then, but it is just so much less fun than bombthrowing. Besides, we all know the familiar maxim regarding arguing on the internet:

    http://snipurl.com/dld9

    At this point I’d much rather focus on energizing those who have become disgusted with the religious k00ks in power than trying to make any serious arguments with the devout. As Swift noted:

    “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.”

    So, I don’t even try any more–fuck ’em.

  176. But I guess I did show my work, as Jeff Taylor urged. Can I have extra credit if I shut up now?

  177. Oh, yeah, the world will be safe for democracy if every citizen as a bright, involved, incisive and informed as “smacky.” Passing an ordinance about dog waste is a rocket-sled ride to the Fourth Reich. Right.

    People not caring is good thing. When people care, they want to do something… and this something often involves making rules. I find little evidence that when people care deeply about complex political issues it makes society any more free, fair or pleasant (see France.)

    Trust me, Smacky, if the fundamentalists start working on a new “final solution,” I will take up arms in opposition. Until then, I am content to resist onerous incursions on personal liberty like leash laws through the usual peaceful means.

    By the way, I have accused no one here of being a bigot. As for intolerance, my point is simple. I think intolerance is counterproductive to the cause of liberty. Do you and Henry think that if you jump down a religious person’s throat, the person is simply going to fold up his tabernacle and go home? You may want to consider how well intolerance has worked in the Middle East. In short, when you act like an asshole, people feel comfortable treating you like an asshole.

    As for my theology, I offer to you the libertarian response… it’s none of your damned business. Even if I worship a block of cheddar cheese, I don’t owe you or anyone a defense or even an explanation… unless you can explain how my personal philosophy is any of your concern. On this note, who are you to tell me or anyone what our “job” is relative to personal beliefs. Did the Pope die and you replace him? (On the off chance you did, thank heaven I am not Catholic.)

    Finally, calling mainstream Christian “good Germans” is utterly idiotic… unless smacky having to pick up after his dog has become the equivalent of concentration camps. America may not be as free as one might like, but it is far, far cry from Germany circa 1939.

  178. Jose, try taking a course in reading comprehension. I’m not interested in “jump[ing} down a religious person’s throat” (although more than a few priests might enjoy it). I just want to mock their bullshit when they try to foist it on the rest of the world.

    You are correct about one thing, however–what you believe is your business. Trust me, we don’t give a fuck.

  179. Henry, you wouldn’t know what liberty is if it hit you in the face boy.

    Having always been an ardent partisan of freedom, I turned to the Universities, as soon as the revolution broke out in Germany, to find the Universities took refugee in silence. I then turned to the editors of powerful newspapers, who, but lately in flowing articles, had claimed to be the faithful champions of liberty. These men, as well as the Universities, were reduced to silence in a few weeks. I then addressed myself to the authors individually, to those who passed themselves off as the intellectual guides of Germany, and among whom many had frequently discussed the question of freedom and its place in modern life. They are in their turn very dumb. Only the Church opposed the fight which Hitler was waging against liberty. Till then I had no interest in the Church, but now I feel great admiration and am truly attracted to the Church which had the persistent courage to fight for spiritual truth and moral freedom. I feel obliged to confess that I now admire what I used to consider of little value (Albert Einstein).

    Within the system of the concentration camp something very strange took place. The first to give in, the first to collaborate?to save their lives?were the intellectuals, the liberals, the humanists, the professors of sociology, and the like. Because suddenly their whole concept of the universe broke down. They had nothing to lean on (Elie Wiesel).

  180. Jose,

    Obviously dog wastes ARE a far cry from the 4th Reich. But in the interest of not putting everyone on the thread to sleep, I assumed that people could interpolate what I was getting at regarding my point of a small thing getting out of hand (the snowball effect).

    As for my theology, I offer to you the libertarian response… it’s none of your damned business. Even if I worship a block of cheddar cheese, I don’t owe you or anyone a defense or even an explanation…

    I agree. Personally, I do worship a block of cheese (but I insist that Provolone is my one true Saviour, not cheddar). The only reason religion and Christianity came up to begin with is that you and Mike and others like you bring it into the conversation (and if you two didn’t do it in this particular thread, someone else other than I did). Like I said, this is a political web site, but if religion is on the table, you have to learn to accept the fact that some people disagree with your beliefs. And secondly, if you’re going to blog, you have to be willing to accept that your position may be criticized.

    Thirdly, calling my position idiotic is really no sort of an argument. How much German history have you read?

    Trust me, Smacky, if the fundamentalists start working on a new “final solution,” I will take up arms in opposition. Until then, I am content to resist onerous incursions on personal liberty like leash laws through the usual peaceful means.

    Good for you. The fact that I was using your and Mike H’s flippant comments was not an ad hominem attack on my part, it was just an illustration of my broader point.

    As for Henry, I am not neccessarily condoning his “seek and destroy” blogging attitude, as I understand it can be destructive to one’s own credibility in a serious arguement. But aesthetically, I prefer it more than banal rhetoric, and at least it entertains oneself, if noone else. Plus, I think he has a point: why bother arguing with irrational people….

  181. What we have here are “mainstream Christian” Christer-enablers. I believe that many of them genuinely find the loonies unpalatable–but when faced with nonbelievers, they, invariably, will make common cause with the Christer K00ks. They are “the good Germans” of modern America.

    I hear what you’re saying. I’ve heard (and perhaps even said) similar things re: moderate vs. radical Muslims, and even the need for Africa-Americans to police anti-social behavior “within their community” (not quite a fair phrase) rather than reflexively close ranks in solidarity against the Others.

    However: It is quite possible that moderate and loony Christians are doing what they can to fight it out — but not necessarily in forums that are normally visible to you. After all, do you regularly regularly hang out with mixed groups of moderate and fringe Christians, in a setting where they feel comfortable infighting in front of you? They may not be choosing to stage their fights on the editorial pages of the New York Times for the benefit of third-party onlookers. (Same probably goes for Muslims and African-Americans.)

    If you are interested in a ringside seat … For illumination (and entertainment), some time head over to http://www.freerepublic.com and search for thread titles with these words in them:

    evolution, evolve, darwin, darwin’s, darwinism, fossil, porn, pornography, pornographic, libertarian, libertarians, libertarianism

    Some good brawls there. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll cringe, you’ll smack your forehead and roll your eyes, and occasionally — yes — you’ll cheer when someone scores a point for our side.

  182. Plus, I think he has a point: why bother arguing with irrational people….

    …and still BillyRay beckons me to fight him:

    Within the system of the concentration camp something very strange took place. The first to give in, the first to collaborate?to save their lives?were the intellectuals, the liberals, the humanists, the professors of sociology, and the like.

    Giving two (or however many) quotes about Nazi Germany’s particular historical situation is not evidence, BillyRay. Just because the intellectuals and universities in Germany at that particular time gave in, doesn’t mean that ANY intellectuals and universities would give in in the US, in the 21st century, to a dictator, especially if the dictation were coming from religious Fundamentalists. Duh. You’re using irrelevant details and false analogies.

  183. I’m glad that idiot brought up Rockwell

    Ayn Rand is dead – Christian libertarianism
    National Review, May 28, 1990 by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., Jeffrey A. Tucker
    new

    THE Old Right, cultural conservatism came as naturally as devotion to the free market or aversion to foreign wars. But when the cold war split the Right into two camps, both sides suffered. Conservatives lost their skepticism about what Clare Boothe Luce called “globaloney”; libertarians lost their moorings to what Russell Kirk called “the permanent things.”

    Today, both parts of the movement are harking back to their roots. More and more conservatives are coming to agree with Patrick J. Buchanan’s denunciations of global messianism, and more and more libertarians cheer Murray N. Rothbard’s jeremiads against “libertine libertarians.”

    In the 1950s, virtually everyone in the libertarian movement was a cultural conservative, and virtually everyone was a believer,” says George Resch of the Center for Libertarian Studies. “The Randian movement changed that, for the worse.”

    When Ayn Rand-the Jackie Collins of ideological novelists-split with her “intellectual heir” and boyfriend Nathaniel Branden in 1968, most of her followers came over to the libertarian movement, but they brought with them their unfortunate Randian baggage. Miss Rand was not just an atheist, Rothbard reminds us, “she was a militant atheist. She hated God and thought that Christianity ought to be stamped out.” Cathohcism in particular she called the spiritual equivalent of Communism, with the same morality “altruism”), goal (“global rale by force”), and enemy (“man’s mind”).

    The Libertarian Party, founded in 1971, was infected from the beginning with Miss Rand’s pet hatreds, albeit with some odd twists. New Ageism was welcomed, for example, and the party’s Randian-hippie coalition even embraced a witch. Only one group was made to feel unwelcome: Christians. But now a burgeoning group of scholars, journalists, and activists is recapturing the libertarian-Christian connection. These libertarians agree with Lord Acton that liberty is the highest political end of man, but see Christianity as the guide to the virtuous society as well as virtuous individuals. Miss Rand asserted undying war between faith and freedom. But it is to “Christianity that we owe individual freedom and capitalism,” says Rothbard. It is no coincidence that “capitalism developed in Christian Europe after the transnational church limited the state. In ancient Greece and Rome, the individual was merely part of the city state or the empire, unimportant in his own right. Christianity changed that by stressing the infinite worth of each individual soul.”

    Freedom for Virtue

    CHRISTIAN libertarians see no inconsistency in being both. For these libertarians freedom Is important for more than economic reasons. It allows Christians to transform the culture through the church and the family. This transformation is no business of the state’s. As Pius IX wrote in his Syllabus of Errors, the civil authority” must not interfere in matters relating to religion, morality, and spiritual government.” The Beatitudes are not instructions to federal officials, except in their personal lives.

    “Freedom is no virtue in itself”, says Robert Sirico, CSP, of the Catholic Information Center. “It is a context in which virtue can be practiced.”

    And, say the Christian libertarians, the virtuous life cannot be brought about by government. “It is a great mistake for religious people to appeal for state support,” says James Sadowsky, SJ, of Fordham University. The price of that support is subservience to the state.”

    The leviathan state’s systematic attack on the family goes beyond the promotion of unwed motherhood through welfare programs, and secular humanism through the government schools-the welfare state cuts to the heart of the family by arrogating to itself the authority of the father as protector and provider. In view of this, David Gordon of the Ludwig von Mises Institute points out that, contrary to the common impression that libertarians are free-thinkers and libertines, “Many libertarians … are libertarians precisely because they wish to protect traditional values and culture from the state.”

    The Christian libertarian’s reconciliation of freedom and virtue echoes the earlier “fusionism” of Frank S. Meyer, but it also harks back to the Spanish Scholastics and their rigorous defense of liberty, the free market, sound money, and the rule of law. Typical was Pedro Fernandez Navarrete, chaplain to the king of Spain, who wrote in 1619 that “the origin of poverty is high taxes” and that the only “agreeable country is one where no man is afraid of tax collectors.” May the rector of George Bush’s Episcopal parish preach similar views ! Moral posturing has become inextricably linked with our politics. William Bennett says that repealing the laws against drug use is the same as approving addiction. But as James Sadowsky points out, libertarianism does not “mandate moral approval of all the behaviors that we would legalize. We accept the Actonian distinction between civil law and moral law.” This position is not, as some charge, a denial of Original Sin, but rather an affirmation of its baleful importance. A man giving full rein to his sinful tendencies does far more harm as a state official than as a private individual. Illiberal

    IN THEIR acceptance of Original Sin, as well as a host of other ways, the Christian libertarians distinguish themselves from most of the classical liberals. Fredric Bastiat and Lord Acton grounded their liberalism in Christianity, but most classical liberals were Benthamite atheists. Rothbard points out that, except in England, when these liberals “came to power, they confiscated church lands, suppressed religious orders, and nationalized church schools. Their hatred of Christianity was far more important to them than their alleged love of liberty.”

    With Randianism following Ayn Rand into the grave, the future is with the Christian libertarians. And that is good news for conservatives.

    “Many Christian conservatives have been put off by what seemed to be libertarianism’s irreligiousness, moral relativism, and belief in gay rights,”‘ says Joseph Sobran. “But the emergence, or rather re-emergence, of Christian libertarianism-which rejects all of this-makes it possible for us to join together to limit the giant state. We are all libertarians when it comes to the Federal Government. And we are all conservatives in our cultural and moral values.”

    The big news of the post-Reagan era may not be a split, but a healing: the coming together of the two strands of the Old Right. It is, as even a quick glance at Washington, D.C., will show, an alliance whose time has come.

    COPYRIGHT 1990 National Review, Inc.

  184. You’re just a punk Smaky. You don’t say anything. Just ramble on a bunch of useless nonsense. It’s no mistake that the biggest mass murderers of the 20th century were all humanist atheists.

  185. This is the last time I’m feeding the trolls.

    Yeah, I’ve been hearing some great arguements from my opposition:

    “Punk” and “asshole” ….profound.

  186. You know the debate is over and they’ve lost at Reason when they start calling you a troll. Over and out!

  187. BillyRay, what’s the point of your endless quotes? To show that some people have made statements that support your position?

    I would like to point out that people are not necessarily what their goverment proclaims them to be. In the case of Nazism, use one of your links to show an official declaration of atheism. I doubt that you’ll find one. What reason would an atheist have to hate a Jewish person more than another faith?

  188. Stevo, I accept your point. But the “Billy Ray” factor seems pretty high over at Free Republic. It’s no Lucianne.com, but then again FR’s not moderated by the deranged cow that gave us Jonah Goldberg, so how could it be?

    I have, personally, corresponded with Mr. Rockwell and with Steve Greenhut (of the OC Register), thanking both for presenting a Christian libertarian viewpoint in their own columns. I genuinely enjoy reading such a synthesis. I wish it was more influential. But they are relatively lone voices crying in the wilderness. Rockwell (c. 2005, after much hard experience) can decry “Red State Fascism” and it has a poignacy that some leftist cannot bring to the table–he, more, than anyone, is disillusioned about the turn the combined forces of “conservatism” and modern American “Christianity” have taken (here’s a clue–you won’t find Rockwell or Sobran favorably mentioned in the National Review any more, much less published there). People like Rockwell, Greenhut and Sobran (also c. 2005) are not only distressed on a political level, but they believe (I think) that these crazies have become the almost-perfect anti-witnesses for Christ. Who the fuck wants to have anything to do with Christianity if it means becoming one of these anti-liberty pod people?

  189. I think the danger encountered by unopposed religious moralists is typified in the recent actions by the Kansas and Missouri attorneys general.

    They seem to be unashamedly searching medical records of teenagers, looking for sexually active ones. So they can prosecute them. Because “fornicating” is sinning. Next on their agenda is any sexually active adult woman who is not married. They’re already trying to get the doctors to fork over the records.

    We’re not talking about “live and let live.” We’re talking about “live my way or go to jail.”

  190. Christianity and individual freedom are just not compatable. Not when christians want to make the rules to support their view of morality. Just in my lifetime have I seen blue laws such as serving or buying alcohol on Sundays overturned in most states. Adultry is still against the law in some states though seldom prosecuted. Some bible belt states are forcing schools to teach creationism along with Darwin and the list of christian tyrany can go on for pages.

    I believe that each has the right to believe as they wish. Just don’t impose their beliefs on me.

  191. I found the Rockwell essay interesting, if only for the observations that some libertarians seem to hate religion, particularly Christianity. If the vast majority of American Christians want to impose morality on the nation, they are doing a lousy job. Abortion is legal. One can buy a dildo the size of Louisville Slugger on the Internet or in the local adult bookstore and enough porn to satisfy an army. Alcohol and tobacco are legal and marijuana is moving from “killer weed” status to medical plant and my guess is that it will be legal in another decade or two. Sure, there are silly initiatives to put stickers on science textbooks and to put “Ten Commandments” monuments in public places, but these are the doomed efforts of a religious right that has lost the culture war. Sure, there will always be threats to personal liberty from the right and the left, from the religious and the secular. I think it more effective to deal with the specific issue than to tar every religious person with a broad and ugly brush. Of course, if libertarians learned how to deal with the religious community in a polite and civil manner… egads! They might start winning elections and then where would we be?

  192. Jose,

    Non-Christian libertarians seem to hate Christianity more because familiarity breeds contempt. I’m sure non Muslim Saudi libertarians would feel that way about Islam.

    While I don’t think it’s true that most or even many libertarians hate religion, it is natural for libertarians to resist control from any institution that would supplant the values of the individual with the values of a collective.

    I also feel that the religious zealots who equate allowing others to make choices with endorsing the results of those decisions only serve to fan the flames. Especially when the equate allowing freedom of choice with Nazism, Hedonism, A culture of evil, A culture of death, and the like.

  193. Jose is right: in the end, all there will be is selfish, uniform, groveling secularist intolerance.

    GUYK: “Christianity and individual freedom are just not compatible.” Indeed. And up is down and left is right and none dare call it fascism.

    Bona fide Christianity — the kind the worst of the wild-eyed underbelly “libertarian” cowards who show their hate in threads like this one can only stereotype — is, as an institution, already nearly dead. Conveniently so, because the race to outlaw diversity and the parallel race to paint high principle as iron shackles can’t abide authentic, pure, liberating spirituality.

    You know, that unique human will to sacrifice very, very much just for humility and principle.

    Throw those uncomfortable terms out and the curses and chanting and raking pop up, instinctively.

    Intolerance for institutionalized tyranny has turned into back-handing the mere appearance of anything remotely uncomfortable to those who will themselves enable the final State. What an ironic, selfish, appearances-centric, black-is-white waste of a truly intelligent original premise.

    Well, it only follows. Each movement eventually attracts the bottom feeders. So too with these Screwtape “libertarians.”

  194. 6Gun, you must be a blast at parties with your charm and cheerful outlook.

  195. smacky, and all who worship The Big Cheese, I bring you greetings from the Promised Land, Wisconsin. πŸ™‚

    I’m an atheist, but I have worked closely with Libertarian Party members who were religious – Jews, Buddhists, Unitarians, and every flavor of Christian imaginable. The latter were big fans of accusing Big Government of being Leviathan, a false god, and equated statism with idolotry. “No King But Jesus” and “Put not your trust in princes” were bywords for them. Then there is this biblical rant from 1 Samuel (KJV) found @: http://tinyurl.com/3kogy , which I have mentioned before on this board.

    Does anyone think that a libertarian political coaliton could ever be built in the US without the participation of religious people?

    Kevin

  196. Shit, what could I have been thinking, cdunlea. Thanks.

  197. most Christians are everyday people who just want to be “idiots” (read: private citizens) left alone to read their daily paper uncritically, go to church on Sundays (or twice a year, if a non-regular,Christmas-Easter believer), and take their children to the park on a nice day. They are completely indifferent to and/or unknowlegable of complex political issues which end up setting precedents (and creating laws, which therefore, in the end, actually do affect their daily activities.) Want to take your dog to the park, too? Better have a license for that dog. And in many cities, a pooper scooper, if you don’t want to be fined and/or otherwise criminally punished. (My own quote)

    For the record, I think that indifference and willful ignorance is a problem in secular people, too. I’m not only calling religious people indifferent, although I came down hard on that crowd because that is where the discussion led; moral apathy is a common problem for religious AND nonreligious. And my gripe is with indifference more than with anyone’s personal beliefs, which I know are none of my business (nor do I want them to be my business).

  198. “Does anyone think that a libertarian political coaliton could ever be built in the US without the participation of religious people?”

    no.

    i have encountered as much hostility to libertarian ideas – even gentle ones – from liberals as much as christians. either you’re part of the corporate conspiracy or the culture of death.

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