Why Mommy Is a Democrat…

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Paul Wilbert sends scarifying news of the latest–and possibly the saddest–skirmish in the Red State/Blue State culture wars: A kid's book titled Why Mommy Is a Democrat, which should be subtitled Why Republicans Run All Branches of the Federal Government and Probably Will for the Next 20 or 30 Years.

From the book's pitchpage:

Kids want to know.

Kids need to know.

It's up to you to tell them…

WHY MOMMY IS A DEMOCRAT

A different kind of children's book.

Yes, it is a different kind of children's book–a really bad kind. Here's a sample page that will almost certainly drive more young 'uns into the warm arms of such cuddly father figures as Deadeye Dick Cheney (it's been known to happen!):

school-585x439.jpg

More–including blurbs from such political kingmakers as the mayor of Columbus, Ohio, a Utah state senator, and the long-deposed creator of The Daily Show (who makes Craig Kilborn's post DS career look like a success) here.

Note to Democrats: A two-party duopoly only works if both parties can throw a punch. I half-suspect this of being a GOP plant job.

NEXT: The Merry Wives of Harford

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  1. The Winstead-Kilborne drama was my favorite story from the pre-Stewart Daily Show. Kilborne’s obvious frat-boy charms were perfect for the nascient show’s mocking-of-everyone format.

    Stewart is certainly a stronger anchor, but the the show would have died in the crib without Kilborne. Comedy Central’s main demographic was stoner frat-boys. Stewart would have been too cerebral for that crowd.

  2. “Democrats make sure we all share our toys, just like Mommy does.”

    I’d like to take this opportunity to invite all of the commenters here to join me on a month-long cruise of the Caribbean on Teresa Heinz Kerry’s yacht! Thanks, Teresa!

  3. Democrats make sure we all share our toys, just like Mommy does.

    Somehow I don’t remember my Mommy threatening me with a long prison term for not sharing my toys. But that was a long time ago. Perhaps it’s different now.

  4. So…fucking…creepy.

    joe? Care to defend this one? Or are even you disgusted by this?

  5. Hilarious! Maybe I’ll buy a copy and keep it next to America: The Book on the shelf.

  6. I feel sorry for the kids of anyone who would buy this book, or the companion volume “Help Mom! There Are Liberals Under My Bed!” The last thing kids need is adults actually encouraging them to see politics as good guys vs. bad guys. That comes naturally to kids — the grownups should have given it up by now.

  7. You know, given the Democrats paternalistic politics, this might not actually be a children book at all.

  8. Democrats make sure children can go to school

    Barf.

    I mean come on, what dunce actually thinks that kids would not be able to go to school if not for the gallant efforts of Democrats to make that a reality?

  9. Ahhh . . some of my finest work to date. Of course, now I’ll have to send you all hunting with Cheney for revealing my involvement in this project. Ask not what your country can do for you, and all that.

  10. I mean come on, what dunce actually thinks that kids would not be able to go to school if not for the gallant efforts of Democrats to make that a reality?

    The average Democratic voter?

  11. For the sake of curmudgeonry (and aren’t we all curmudgeons when we’re honest with ourselves?), do a google of the book and see all of the lame right-winger responses. At least this thing has kitsch value in its inanity. The Dems need to grow a brain and the Reps the ability to make a joke not having to do with abortion.

  12. You know, given the Democrats paternalistic politics, this might not actually be a children book at all.

    Yeah, in this case the paternalistic politics is presented in a maternalistic package, and ya gotta wonder; is part of the motivation for this to make he authors, themselves, feel better? -The minds of children…not so beautiful when they belong to adults. Especially adults who want to govern us.

  13. If the book also told the truth…

    Unlike Mommies, the Democrats aren’t fair because they make sure that some people have an advantage over others in getting hired to be teachers just because of their ethnicity and gender.

  14. Which Democratic strategist decided to produce literature targeting the crucial 4-8 year voting bloc?

    I said the other day that while GOP donors get shot at by Dick Cheney, Democratic donors get to watch helplessly while the Democrats shoot themselves in the foot.

  15. coming in the spring of 2007:

    Are You Sure Mommy Is Really a Democrat?:
    Ten Fun Loyalty Tests to Keep Her on the Straight and Narrow

    and in the spring of 2008:

    The Big Hand Is On… :
    How to Know When It’s Time to Tell On Mommy

  16. I note that the author’s cat is a life long Democrat, can you say vote fraud boys and girls.

  17. I AM (mostly) a Democrat, and I’m a mother, and I wouldn’t buy this book if it were the only way to preserve the English language after the apocalypse. I remember a few years ago when someone came out with a pro-life doll. A doll, marketed to four – year – olds, that said things like “I’m so glad Mommy didn’t kill me.” I thought owning one would be grounds for termination of parental rights. I don’t think kids that age should be interested in politics much past being able to identify the name of the country, state, city, the current President, and George Washington. They’ll get enough chances to argue unreasonably when they get older. I, for one, intend to stick to Legos nd “Goodnight, Moon” for a few more years.

  18. I wouldn’t buy this book if it were the only way to preserve the English language after the apocalypse

    I don’t care who you are, that’s funny!

    On a more serious note, how’s come all the characters are buck-toothed?

  19. Yeah, the Hackett thing has had me thinking we’re facing at least a generation of one-party republican rule. God help us all.

  20. I think Hillary should do the book on tape. She already talks to everybody like they’re kids.

  21. I’m not sure why everyone thinks creating creepy children’s propoganda is a liberal thing. The book was probably written in response to this:
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0976726904/reasonmagazinea-20/

  22. The Dems must have hired the same PR firm as Teacher’s Union.

  23. A doll, marketed to four – year – olds, that said things like “I’m so glad Mommy didn’t kill me.” I thought owning one would be grounds for termination of parental rights.

    Which is worse, exposing children to the fact that our society would have condoned killing them before they were born…or actually killing them before they are born? You do seem to approve of the latter.

  24. ‘Deadeye Dick Cheney’…

    Haha I love it! The next Stumbler?

  25. Mara, I looked at that link you provided and it is indeed creepy. I also noted that National Review is offering a set of conservative children’s books. Now people from all political stripes can protest the books in the children’s section at the public library!

    A couple of weeks ago I filled out the application form for my son for the gifted program at his elementary school. One of the questioned it asked was “is your child interested in grown up problems, like war or pollution?” I sent an email to all of my friends complaining about what an idiotic question that was, and they agreed with me. Apparently we’re all badly out of touch. THE new accessory for politically engaged parents is a polemic bedtime story for toddlers. I’d better order that copy of “Heather Has Two Mommies” before the rest of the playgroup starts teasing my younger son for being out of fashion. Did Barry Goldwater write a children’s book? I do want to make sure he’s not excluded from any important playdates because of ideological reasons.

  26. I AM (mostly) a Democrat, and I’m a mother, and I wouldn’t buy this book if it were the only way to preserve the English language after the apocalypse.

    That’s hilarious. If only more party members thought this way.

    Which is worse, exposing children to the fact that our society would have condoned killing them before they were born…or actually killing them before they are born? You do seem to approve of the latter.

    I don’t mean to speak for Karen, but I’ll just point out that you don’t have to approve of something to think that it shouldn’t be illegal.

    And you don’t have to approve of something to believe that it’s wrongheaded (to say the least) to indoctrinate your children to have simple opinions on deeply complex, profound (and for many children, terrifying) issues that they can’t possibly understand.

  27. Les,

    She stated that giving your child the pro-life doll should be grounds for taking the child away from you. Perhaps I’m taking her flippant statement too seriously, but it has become fashionable among pro-choicers to think that exposing a child to the existence of such unpleasant things as abortion, is worse than actually doing that unpleasant thing.

  28. Is the bum shown in every picture meant to symbolize what happens when Republicans are running the show?

  29. The Dems must have hired the same PR firm as Teacher’s Union.

    I thought the Democratic Party is the teachers union PR firm.

  30. Good for you karen. You buy your kids Legos, a product of Denmark.

    I hope you all buy my new children’s books coming out soon entitled Why Mommy is Voting to Screw Over My Generation By Voting for Redistribution Instead of Growth and Why Republicans Hate the 4th Amendment Which Allows Consenting Adults to Do What They Want at Home in Peace.

  31. And you don’t have to approve of something to believe that it’s wrongheaded (to say the least) to indoctrinate your children to have simple opinions on deeply complex, profound (and for many children, terrifying) issues that they can’t possibly understand.

    Giving a child this doll is hardly indoctrination. Were they aware that our society accorded their mother the power to have them killed at one time, they would no doubt already share the doll’s sentiments.

    And if your problem is with the fact that this doll introduces them to the harsh reality of abortion, I ask again: is informing a child of an horrific thing that could have been done to them, worse than doing that horrific thing?

  32. The LP is falling behind the curve. Where are Baby’s Very First Austrian Economics Textbook and Kermit the Frog Says “Legalize It!”?

  33. crimethink,

    There is an age at which you simply don’t teach your kid about the fact they could have been aborted. That will come in eventually, but at too young an age it is morally criminal to put such scary thoughts into a tykes head.

  34. I almost forgot, thanks for the reminder phocion, my other new book is called Why Mommy is Pro-choice on Everything and Why Daddy is Against Paternalism.

  35. Les, you said it as well as I could have.

    Let me give another example. I was born in 1963. When I was about 5, the Dallas TV stations started running an announcement right before the 10 p.m. news saying “It’s 10 p.m. Do you know where your children are?” (My parents made me go to bed at 8:30, which doesn’t mean that I went to sleep then.) I spent years in blind terror that somehow my parents would lose me between bedtime and 10 o’clock. It finally dawned on me at puberty what the ad really meant, but by then I had spent years convinced that roving gangs of monsters wandered around northeast Texas plucking innocent children from their beds.

    Kids see things only from their own, immediately personal, perspective. Kids understand this kind of propaganda to say “someone’s trying to hurt me” in the case of the doll, and “someone doesn’t like Mommy” in the case of the book. Fairy tales and myths work because they show often small and weak people succeeding where the obvious big tough guys fail. That way, kids have a basic feeling of security that will support them in learning about the complexities of political problems. They’ll also be better educated in the process. As the obnoxious business books say, it’s win – win all the way ’round.

  36. crimethink
    I think Karen explained herself sufficiently:
    I don’t think kids that age should be interested in politics much past being able to identify the name of the country, state, city, the current President, and George Washington.

    One may justifiably assume that Karen is pro-choice given her political affiliation, but one can also imagine a pro-lifer having problems giving sucha doll to a four year old.

  37. In the interest of full disclosure, I don’t think any first trimester or most second trimester abortions should be illegal, because I think the costs and complications of enforcing a ban far outweigh any benefits. Obviously, however, my opinions are complicated far beyond the ability of even a bright 8 year old to understand.

    Parents of kids in the age group for the doll and the book should concentrate on setting a good example if they want children to accept their opinions later. My kids will be more open to my politics when they get older if they have spent the first 14 years observing a walk consistent with the talk. I could read passages from the Port Huron Statement all day long to them and it would make no difference if they know I use racial eptithets in private.

  38. There’s nothing especially new about this attitude on the Democrats’ part. I’m old enough to remember the notorious Democratic Party Telethon, in which Shari Lewis put aside Lambchop for a moment to tell all the kids in the audience that the reason the telethon was necessary: The Republican Party had a “huge treasure chest” with which to pay their bills, while the poor Democrats needed everyone else to contribute what they could.

  39. Mommy is a Democrat because she doesn’t want to have to deal with men for support.

    She’s free to nag him away.

  40. If I ever have kids, their books and toys will include:

    Furry the Stuffed Ferret
    Peter Rabbit Learns to Respect Farmer McGregor’s Property Rights
    Druid figurines
    Water Pistols with High Capacity Magazines
    Cinderella Realizes That It’s Only Fair to Earn Her Keep

    And of course I’m totally joking.

  41. Here’s the libertarian version you’ve been looking for.

  42. “Democrats make sure children can go to school”

    I think it shows how detached from reality the author is that he actually thinks this will make children like Democrats. I would pay money to see the look on his face if he ever meets a kid who’s read the book, though:

    Kid: “I hate Democrats!”
    Author: (in shock) “Why?”
    Kid: “Because this book said they’re the ones who make me go to school!”

    1. What an asinine comment.

  43. Karen,

    I’m afraid we’ll have to agree to disagree on the abortion issue per se, for the time being. However, you still haven’t explained how giving your child a pro-life doll should be grounds for taking the child into state custody.

  44. I’ve often thought of doing a children’s version of Atlas Shrugged.

  45. The Democrat’s book is yet another example of why we shouldn’t have tax-payer financed political campaigns. Imagine the outrage of being forced to pay for this assault on kid’s critical thinking skills.

  46. I’m looking forward to hearing what conservative talk radio does with this…

    …just kidding…actually I couldn’t care less…

  47. Peter Rabbit Learns to Respect Farmer McGregor’s Property Rights

    Thoreau, that post reminds me of this strip from The Perry Bible Fellowship.

  48. Giving a child this doll is hardly indoctrination.

    Errrr… yes it is nothink. It is conveying an obvious political message that is meant to be adopted by the child.

    However, you still haven’t explained how giving your child a pro-life doll should be grounds for taking the child into state custody.

    Because the last thing we need are more fucking Christard willing to help drag our civilization back into the fucking Dark Ages.

  49. crimethink,

    I was using comic overstatement. It was a lame joke.

  50. “I ask again: is informing a child of an horrific thing that could have been done to them, worse than doing that horrific thing?”

    Of course it’s not worse, asshole, but that doesn’t mean you have to talk to them about it. If Karen had said “It’s criminal to chain your kids to their beds for weeks at a time” you’d be asking “yeah, but is it worse than killing them?”

  51. I wonder if the typical democrat will still be referencing this book after he/she becomes old enough to vote…

  52. So, mommy is a Democrat AND a squirrel. ( Am I being redundant ? )

  53. Mediageek,

    That cartoon is amazing.

    Thanks for posting the link.

  54. However, you still haven’t explained how giving your child a pro-life doll should be grounds for taking the child into state custody.

    Because the last thing we need are more fucking Christard willing to help drag our civilization back into the fucking Dark Ages.

    when did the neo-nazis start coming to reason’s hit and run?

  55. It is conveying an obvious political message that is meant to be adopted by the child.

    What, that they could have been aborted? It may be a political message, but it’s also a sad fact that even pro-choice people would admit is true, if they have the courage to quit hiding behind their precious euphemisms.

    andy,

    There’s a huge difference between chaining a kid to a bed and telling him or her about abortion. I’m not saying that abortion being legal should make all sorts of child abuse legal, I’m just pointing out that it seems strange to condemn those who tell children about horrific things that could have been done to them, and then turn around and defend the right to do those same horrific things.

  56. Okay,

    So this is really bad. And has nothing to do with democrats, their philosophy or their politics. It is no worse than the recent republican Star Wars based message … where the republicans were depicted as the valiant rebels fighting the evil democratic empire (daily show has excerpts).

    It’s not like this was put out by the Democratic Party… just some talentless twit.

    Ever see the stuff the libertarian party put together that they call a “platform.” Reads like children’s lit to me.

  57. Mommy, why are Democrats squirrels and mice, not people, like Rebuplicans ?

  58. And of course, what we’re all forgetting here is that children have been exposed to scary concepts since the beginning of history, and somehow have managed to deal with it. Pick up a book of fairy tales, and count the instances of people being eaten, dismembered, etc, and tell me that children need to be shielded from the dirty deeds we adults have become all too comfortable with.

    Maybe Bailey had a point in that “pussification” article the other day…

  59. JK: Good question…and furthermore, why are the Democratic squirrels depicted as just as indifferent to the plight of the bum in the baseball cap as the Republicans?

  60. Interesting that Daddy doesn’t seem to appear in the book….

  61. joshua corning,

    I don’t think Akira’s a neo-Nazi. But his irrational hatred of Christians does make him sound like one.

  62. crimethink: It’s objectionable for precisely the same reason that a Barbie doll would be objectionable if she said “Republicans want to control my uterus.” Abortion is a contentious political issue, and it’s wrong to use toys to indoctrinate kids.

    BTW, how do we get through 60 comments in this thread with no one mentioning Captain Planet?

  63. FXKLM,

    Because we had repressed the memory in order to continue normal life after having lived through such a soul-destroying experience.

    Actually, Captain Planet is a perfect example of this kind of thing; it presented complex issues in between Froot Loops ads and with the same subtlety. There is a reason we don’t let kids vote, and it’s because they aren’t equipped to understand the facts and the policy implications on any given issue we discuss in our elections. Our ancestors designed myths and fairy tales to teach kids how to integrate into their societies, but not to teach them how to decide on who should be the next chief. I still love to read fairy tales, even as an adult and not just to Andy and Aaron, but I don’t base my voting on them.

    As for exposing children to harsh things, only when it’s necessary. For the same reason I don’t insist that my 7 and 4 year old sons hold a job, I don’t try to involve them in political discussions. “To each according to his ability . . .” reeked as a way of organizing a state and an economy, but it works pretty well as parenting advice. After Andy and Aaron have mastered the multiplication tables, I’ll start discussing politics.

  64. crimethink,

    I think that every parent has to make a decision about what their child can handle based on that child’s personality. Some can handle it, some can’t. Unfortunately, most parents don’t think about such things because, for some reason, most people think they know everything they need to about child-rearing automatically, as if it were hardwired into us. That goes for folks who are over-protective and under-protective.

    My wife and I are secularists, but I will not teach my son to be one. I’ll educate him about world religion and let him make his own choice when he’s got all the relevant information.

    I despise the current administration (along with most other administrations), but I refuse to tell my son that Bush or Clinton are bad men (though I believe they’re worse than that), because if I do, then he would merely parrot it (the way most Democrats and most Republicans merely parrot what their leaders say). And I hope to teach him that the worst kind of opinion is an uninformed one.

    All that (somehow) leads to my opinion (based on my years working with kids) that, generally speaking, it’s not healthy for kids to be exposed to simplistic opinions about something like abortion (or sadistic fantasies like Hell), because baseless fear doesn’t make for healthy development and the formation of uninformed opinions is a hard habit to break.

    Thank you for your patience.

  65. Crimethink, maybe you should apply the same logic to adoption. There’s nothing wrong at all with adoption. In fact it’s quite wonderful – hardly something we would judge. But, if you have a 4 year old, would you send them to bed each night saying, “You know, if things had worked out differently, we would have sent you away to live with another family. In fact, we could still do it if we felt we had to. Goodnight & sweet dreams.”?

  66. To actually do it – an act of love.

    To keep telling them about it – awful.

  67. squirrels are clearly egoists.

  68. One of the (numerous) funny things about the website is that there is not only a button to click to buy the book, but a “donate” button as well. Is the writer actually losing money every time he sells one of these things? Maybe that helps to explain why he is a Democrat.

    And not only is the cat a “life-long Democrat,” but so is his girlfriend’s 6 year kid. Creepy.

  69. I’d like to see what happens when Mommy Squirrel the Democrat meets Brasco the Liberty Bear:

    http://www.jpfo.org/brasco.gif

  70. As for the libertarian kid’s book, the endorsement is HILARIOUS:
    “It certainly presents basic economic principles in a very simple and intelligible form. It is an imaginative and very useful piece of work.”

    Milton Friedman, Nobel laureate in economics

    Good God, is this man endorsing a pamphlet on earned income tax credits or a children’s book? Very mechanistic endorsement if ever…

    Also, for the teens, try this link FOR CAPITALISM!
    [url]http://www.captaincapitalism.com/[/url]

  71. He went to Oberlin and is currently liveing in Madison Wi! I swear sometimes people just wake up one morning and decide to become caricatures of themselves.

  72. …and tell me that children need to be shielded from the dirty deeds we adults have become all too comfortable with.

    That’s why I got my daughter a burglar doll that says “if you try to break into my house, daddy’s going to shoot me!”

  73. when did the neo-nazis start coming to reason’s hit and run?

    Given that Hitler wasn’t an atheist, you’re strawman has no bearing.

    I don’t think Akira’s a neo-Nazi. But his irrational hatred of Christians does make him sound like one.

    Irrational? Crack open a history book and look up all the wars fought and the genocides commited in the name of religion, especially Christianity. Go to a library and look up all the repression of science and literature committed in the name of religion, especially Christianity. Browse the modern news websites and see how religion, especially Christianity, continues to attempt to usurp human liberty and dignity EVEN IN THIS COUNTRY!

    Irrational? Nonsense, nothink. My hatred of the knuckle-dragging delusion you call “Christianity” is perfectly rational, not to mention, perfectly justified given how it’s fucked me and millions of other people around the world.

  74. Alternative titles:

    Why Mommy Sucks Nuts

    How Does Mommy Find All Those Nuts?

    Ugh, it’s late & my back hurts a little.

  75. I still have my doubts that Karen and Jennifer are two separate people.

  76. oh come now.

    these books are rather crass.

  77. I still have my doubts that Karen and Jennifer are two separate people.

    I don’t, and I’m mystified as to why anyone would think they were the same person.

  78. how do we get through 60 comments in this thread with no one mentioning Captain Planet?

    That was the first thought that popped into my head. Poor little bastards. At least we didn’t have to read our early childhood propaganda.

  79. Democrat:

    Ever see the stuff the libertarian party put together that they call a “platform.” Reads like children’s lit to me.

    Care to back that up by citing a particular?

  80. Akira MacKenzie:

    My hatred of the knuckle-dragging delusion you call “Christianity” is perfectly rational, not to mention, perfectly justified given how it’s fucked me and millions of other people around the world.

    There’s no need to hold back on this forum. Feel free to tell us what you really think, Akira.

  81. When I first read the sample page, I parsed it wrong–I thought it was a right-wing hack job about how single mothers are democracts (Mommy’s going to school, just like her kids).

  82. how it’s fucked me and millions of other people around the world.

    hitler and nazi germany had its victim politics wrapped up in geneicide as well.

    And I don’t think you are bad becouse you are an athiest…I am an athiest (though without the obvious hate running through your veins)…I think you are fucked becouse you advicate the state violantly taking children from thier parents becouse of thier religious beliefs.

  83. Were they aware that our society accorded their mother the power to have them killed at one time, they would no doubt already share the doll’s sentiments.

    Why? I’m aware that my mother could have aborted me, but if she had, I wouldn’t have cared, because my brain would never have existed. And I certainly wouldn’t care today, for the same reason.

    However, to make you happy, I will be the one to step out on a limb and say that aborting a child should absolutely result in termination of your parental rights to that child.

  84. I think you are fucked becouse you advicate the state violantly taking children from thier parents becouse of thier religious beliefs.

    Haven’t we all learned the site’s disclaimer yet?

    “Comments for or against a particular position should not be construed as advocacy for state enforcement of that position unless explicitly stated by the author.”

    I’m sure Akira understood that Karen’s position was a tongue in cheek comment and not true advocacy for state control.

    Les, your February 18, 2006 09:08 PM post sounded like an extremely thoughtful way to raise a child. It sounds like a great model to emulated, but I have no idea how I’m going to do it. The world pisses me off so much that it will be hard not to vent in front of my child.

  85. this is great. godwin-ing AM???

    but i’d suggest that the people dropping the “NSDAP” bombs should read up on what they’re saying and see that it makes no sense.

    steeple steeple steeple.

    here: be in favor of your little war, read the leather bound copy of “Heather Has Two Mommies” (complete with the sweaty pillow fight scene on page 69), and try to be like an expert in typewriters.
    (and being in favor of torture that we’re actually doing is a sign of more hatred flowing through you than any internet hyperbole in a chat room)
    hokae?

    hokae.

  86. The only positive thing you can say about abortions is that most of them would have become democrats.
    As for making sure children can go to school, does anyone remember the party of a governor who stood in a door denying Autherine Lucy admittence?

  87. It’s a bushwackin’ love fest around here. Good luck with that.

  88. I think the real question is “Why isn’t Mommy wearing any pants?”

  89. hitler and nazi germany had its victim politics wrapped up in geneicide as well.

    Excuse me, but where the fuck did I mention genocide, other than requesting nothink to bone-up on the history of organized religion, particularly Christianity?

    I think you are fucked becouse you advicate the state violantly taking children from thier parents becouse of thier religious beliefs.

    It must be nice not to have a sense of humor.

  90. Why Republicans Run All Branches of the Federal Government and Probably Will for the Next 20 or 30 Years

    That’s a scary thought. But at this stage of the game, does anyone think the Democrats are really going to be any better? Different yes. Better, I sincerely doubt. Today it’s a contest to see who can pull the most outrageous stunts. [today? someone tell me how long ago did ‘today’ started]

    I was raised to be a good baptist and (mostly) republican. According to my parents, it was God’s will that I should one day utterly forsake my upbringing.

    Lots of atheists think they were fucked by Christianity. I did once. But then I got too busy with other things……and somehow I don’t remember anymore.

    So now I’m an atheist libertarian and this

    The LP is falling behind the curve. Where are Baby’s Very First Austrian Economics Textbook and Kermit the Frog Says “Legalize It!”?

    is funny. At least there’s some humor here.

    Meanwhile, in Jakarta they’re throwing yet another riot in the infoontada.

    And to think that on another thread, I was just arguing (implicitly) that the West is superior to Islam which has not yet crawled out of the Dark Ages…..

    Silly me.

    Is the whole freaking world coming unwrapped? Or am I just getting too much MSM?

  91. “Thanks for posting the link.”

    No problem. PBF is one of the most entertaining and under appreciated strips on the web.

  92. how do we get through 60 comments in this thread with no one mentioning Captain Planet?

    *singing*

    Captain Planet! He’s a hero! Gonna take pollution down to zero! These are powers magnified, and he’s fighting on the planet’s side!

    ARRRRRRRGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH! GET OUT OF MY HEAD TED TURNER!

  93. It’s a bushwackin’ love fest around here. Good luck with that.

    Actually, I stopped whackin’ it to Bush once I found your blog. Seriously. That picture of you in the water with the fog all around gets me hot.

  94. Akira: remember, you’re either a gahwd-fearin, torturin’ amerukn. or yer one-a-dem. and anytime you get godwined on being anti religious, you’ve really earned the game ball for that! you’re onto something when you got the ire of the left and the right!

    good job. 🙂

    cheerio.

  95. Simple answer: “Mommy is a Democrat, because Mommy lacks critical-thinking skills.”

    -jcr

  96. I think Captain Planet was actually conceived of by anti-environmentalists. According to that show, pollution is created by mutated super-villains who derive sadistic glee from the act of polluting. Not oil companies or anything. Just evil mutants. Way to send kids off on the wrong track.

  97. Oh, and most of the Democrats I know would point and laugh at this book. Just sayin’…

  98. Shannon, I’ve had the same response among my friends. Everyone seems to agree that it’s absurd to inculcate political opinions in kids more than a decade away from voting.

  99. Akira, no surprise.

    Heck, just take a look at the “amazing” drx. He wouldn’t know a libertarian from a bowl of Rice Krispies.

  100. Why won’t the Dems even try? Any day now, Rove will change his name to “Ming, the Merciless”.

  101. “Actually, I was hoping that Professor Berkman would have the brains to differentiate between a libertarian and a conservative. Apparently, not.”

    By definition, libertarians are “conservative,” economically at least. One need not be socially medieval to be “conservative.” And whatever you think of these definitions, I don’t think it’s worth getting one’s panties in a bunch.

  102. Akira, was your Prof Dave Berkman @ the Metastasized Normal School?

    Kevin

  103. I’ve often thought of doing a children’s version of Atlas Shrugged.

    Hello? Hello? Who is John Galt?
    Would you please share? Please pass the salt?
    To put on my green ham and egg
    I need your salt, for which I beg

    – I do not like you looter guys!
    – You are the people I despise!

    Are you inhuman? Don’t you care?
    Would you, could you, try to share?
    Would you, if you owned Fort Knox
    Give half to folks living in a box?
    Would you give the needy half your wages?
    (This goes on for 800 pages …)
    Would you give them half your wife?
    Would you give them half your life?

    – No! The motor of the world I’ll halt!
    – Amscray, Sam! I am John Galt!

  104. “To each according to his ability . . .” reeked as a way of organizing a state and an economy, but it works pretty well as parenting advice.

    Shouldn’t that be “From each according to his ability – To each according to his need.” – if you meant to quote Marx & Engels.

    ‘From each according to their ability, to each according to their ability’ is a fairly libertarian statement, if you ignore the implication that society is the direct arbiter of people’s 1) choice of work, and 2) wages.

    As for the book, so long as someone wants to make cute, pro-school vermin Democratic mascots, perhaps they ought to have dramatized the adventures of Rickey the inner-city school Rat. He stays alive because the school superintendent is an incompetent who got his job through political patronage. Rickey runs through the air vents and walls all day long, visiting the children and making them sick with his disease and parasites. (And wait until you see what he leaves in the cafeteria’s tuna casserole!)

    …Say…any of you know a good illustrator?

  105. Akira, was your Prof Dave Berkman @ the Metastasized Normal School?

    Yup! That’s him. I had him for Editoral and Opinion writing and History of Broadcast Media.

  106. Nice Stevo, the whole poem. My favorite:

    (This goes on for 800 pages …)

    In the words of Larry, the Cable Guy, “I don’t care who ya are, that’s funny”.

    An Ayn Rand fan.

  107. Stevo —

    Mea maxima culpa. I hate misquoting something, especially something that familar.

  108. Damn Stevo,
    Now I need to wipe down my keyboard and pour another glass of wine.

    Democrats make sure children can go to school just like Mommy does.
    If Mommy had gone to a good school, she would know that the school the kids were going to was a vacuous, self important monopoly that didn’t get the job done.

  109. Actually, I was hoping that Professor Berkman would have the brains to differentiate between a libertarian and a conservative. Apparently, not.

    And I was hoping Akira M. would have the brains to differentiate between modern christians and christians circa 1620.

  110. “is your child interested in grown up problems, like war or pollution?”

    That’s hysterical Karen.

    My kid ended up in the GT program because of some test called the Cogat, I think. All I had to do was say “ok”.
    Still, I’m glad to hear that there is a market out there for my kid’s book idea – The Fox and the Lion: A tale of friendship in medieval Italy by Niccolo Machiavelli

  111. Stevo, that was amazing.

  112. I think the sequel should be:

    “Why Daddy is a NASCAR Republican”

  113. What would a Christian be doing on a libertarian blog ? Silly troll. Collectivist dogma is for kids !

  114. Can anyone imagine the Democrats having a kids book titled “Why Daddy is a Democrat?”

    Didn’t think so.

  115. at this point i can imagine people making childrens’ books for almost any ready. the no, george no thing, the liberals under the bed book, etc.

    then again, thanks to the internet i can read the reviews of any of these fine titles at amazon.com and be dismayed and entertained in one fell swoop. sometimes that’s the best you can hope for.

  116. I suppose the libertarian version would be “Why Mommy and Daddy are NOT Libertarians” — and for an older age that would work splendidly…

    If Mommy had gone to a good school, she would know that the school the kids were going to was a vacuous, self important monopoly that didn’t get the job done.

    Schools have changed a lot in the last 20 years or so. Indeed, I remember skipping out of “mandatory” assemblies, when I was in high school, by simply walking out the door, though I had to make sure I was in the middle of a group so as not to be identified by a stray hall monitor.

    That was 10 years ago, but such an escape would be impossible in my former school today, with the constant police presence and minimized, locked-down entrances, ostensibly to protect the students from outsiders. Just like the bars on the window in Nightmare on Elm Street

  117. mk —

    One of the other questions was “Does your child use grown-up words?” I was so tempted to respond “Oh, yes, and you should really see how well he does the hand gestures!”

    Seriously, the GT thing is one of the very few complaints I’ve got about Andy’s elementary school. Most of the Houston and Dallas areas schools use the test you mentioned and then ask the parents to decline admission. Apparently Austin Independent School District is terrified that too many kids would qualify, or, worse, the qualified kids would all be in the prosperous west and central schools. Either that, or no one in adminstration knows how to request copies the Cogat. I’m afraid to admit it’s probably both.

  118. And the man’s cat is NOT a Democrat, no matter what the man thinks. There is no such thing as a Democratic cat.

    I will guarantee you, however, that the cartoon woman carrying the poodle and her husband (who are passing the homeless guy with indifference) both voted for John Kerry.

  119. Karen, much as I hate to admit this, when I had a little problem on the road yesterday with a car in front of me driving erratically, my five year old piped up from the back seat, “Hey lady, put down your fucking phone and drive!”

    I guess he’s ready for G&T.

  120. Wait, so Mommy, who’s a squirrel, is a Democrat?

    No wonder they’re all for gun control.

  121. Since when do squirrels have horns?

  122. And I was hoping Akira M. would have the brains to differentiate between modern christians and christians circa 1620.

    Please, you give them far too much credit. The modern christian hasn’t really changed all that much since 620 CE. Granted, there was a Reformation (that only spawned more fanatical branches of Christianity) and a few minor changes. However, the silly philosophy of “God,” “Devil,” “sin,” “soul” “Heaven,” and “Hell” really hasn’t changed much and continues to drag us down. If religion had kept pace with our scientific and philosophical progress (rather than shunning it and trying to censor it), Christianity would have folded long ago.

  123. And the man’s cat is NOT a Democrat, no matter what the man thinks. There is no such thing as a Democratic cat.

    Oh, I don’t know. While it is certainly true that cats have a strong libertarian streak in them, our cats have a strong sense of entitlement to generous benefits and services, expect others to pay for them and take no personal responsibility whatsoever.

  124. This is creepy.

    I hate how self-congratulatory some people can be.

    Daddy probably left home with a six pack and a call girl because mommy was so goddammed dull.

  125. .. Stevo

    .. fucking *brilliant*

    .. joshua

    .. there’s a difference??

    Hobbit

  126. Stevo – that was fantastic!

    DA – while my cats have always received generous benefits, they have always earned them, through creating a mouse-free habitat, and providing the general benefit of being in their presence.

  127. It’s just so horrible; the idea of wanting to sway anyone at so young an age.

    If these authors had the opportunity, they’d launch a programme of democratic indoctrination involving juviniles and electrodes on testicles.

  128. “If religion had kept pace with our scientific and philosophical progress (rather than shunning it and trying to censor it), Christianity would have folded long ago.”

    The best way to test that hypothesis would be to hold an experiment: Drain the Christianity out of a culture and see if “scientific and philosophical progress” improves.

    One experiment was Russia and nearby countries in the period 1917-1991, and we know how much scientific and philosophical progress they made, don’t we?

    Mexico also tried to purge organized religion from social influence after it had its own revolution in 1917. Did this improve the scientific and philosophical climate?

    France, starting in the 1790s, and then on and off at other intervals, especially the early twentieth century, attacked the influence of Christianity on the culture. Yeah, that brought about an immediate increase in rationality, as the operators of the French Revolutionary guillotines, not to mention all the Deconstructionist and other idiot philosophers, could readily tell you.

    And we all know what wonderful results, in terms of rationality, we had in the government schools once the taint of Christianity had been carefully scrubbed away.

  129. He went to Oberlin and is currently liveing in Madison Wi! I swear sometimes people just wake up one morning and decide to become caricatures of themselves.

    Democrats want to go to expensive private colleges while assuaging their guilt by spending lots of your tax money on low-performing public schools, just like mommy.

    You know, what exactly is the difference between a college student that takes federal student financial aid money and goes to a private college like Oberlin, and an elementary student that takes a voucher to a private school? I mean, aside from the fact that there’s no powerful public-university-professors’ union running the Democratic party?

  130. what exactly is the difference between a college student that takes federal student financial aid money and goes to a private college like Oberlin, and an elementary student that takes a voucher to a private school?

    Universities don’t educate people during their early formative years. There is a grave danger that parents using vouchers for young children would send them to a religious school! This is very dangerous because in addition to learning about, say, Christain values, it’s likely that childern would not be exposed the the wholesome goodness of things like “Why Mommy is a Democrat.”

    It is the Democratic party’s manifest interest to prevent as many parents as it can from making that choice.

  131. One little thing about teh “Sharing our toys” page – anyone notice the blocks in the middle of the page pretty much spell “democrat?” Not wholly surprising, to be sure. Just something I noticed. As if the author needed to subliminally underline the message of the book.

    Hmmm.

  132. AmyLou,

    Mommy is supposed to go over that with kiddie while they read together.

    “Look, here’s a D and an E and ….”

    One also notes that Mommy protects the children from elephants in a non-judgmental way.

    Does anyone remember those pre WWII – Stalin era textbooks they had for reading in the USSR?

    Children in America don’t get hot soup for lunch.
    Children in England don’t get hot soup for lunch.

    Only Children in the Soviet Union get hot soup for lunch.

  133. Only Children in the Soviet Union get hot soup for lunch.

    Made by the Soup Communist, eh?

  134. There was an episode of Family Guy where Stewie picks up The DaVinci Code and mistakes it for fodder for ?middle-aged housewife masturbatory fantasies? or something to that effect.

    I wonder if this book is less about educating kids about the virtues of the Dem party, and more about Dems indulging in ego-masturbatory hero fantasies of their own.

  135. Wait, so Mommy, who’s a squirrel, is a Democrat?

    Are all squirrels Democrats? Maybe that would explain the Reason server squirrel…

  136. Only Children in the Soviet Union get hot soup for lunch.

    In Russia, children don’t eat soup, soup eat . . .

    never mind. It was funnier in my head.

  137. The best way to test that hypothesis would be to hold an experiment: Drain the Christianity out of a culture and see if “scientific and philosophical progress” improves. One experiment was Russia and nearby countries in the period 1917-1991, and we know how much scientific and philosophical progress they made, don’t we?

    You do know what an “experiment” is, right? You do know that you have to hold the other conditions equal when testing for one difference, right? I’m thinking there were some other, nontrivial things going on there at the same time aside from “draining Christianity.”

    Nonetheless, it is worth noting that despite everything, Russia was in fact the first country to launch orbit an artificial satellite, the first to launch a human being into space, and the first to send a human into orbit around the Earth.

    France, starting in the 1790s, and then on and off at other intervals, especially the early twentieth century, attacked the influence of Christianity on the culture. Yeah, that brought about an immediate increase in rationality, as the operators of the French Revolutionary guillotines, not to mention all the Deconstructionist and other idiot philosophers, could readily tell you.

    In the same period, they created the measurement system that’s still the lingua franca of science worldwide today. They also accurately measured the size of the Earth to several significant figures as part of that project.

  138. The best way to test that hypothesis would be to hold an experiment: Drain the Christianity out of a culture and see if “scientific and philosophical progress” improves.

    Clearly. Much like the best way to test the idea of Democracy is to remove a dictator from power, install a Constitution and see if quality of life improves.

  139. “Nonetheless, it is worth noting that despite everything, Russia was in fact the first country to launch orbit an artificial satellite, the first to launch a human being into space, and the first to send a human into orbit around the Earth. . .

    “In the same period [1790 onwards, France] . . . created the measurement system that’s still the lingua franca of science worldwide today. They also accurately measured the size of the Earth to several significant figures as part of that project.”

    OK, on one side of the scale we have Sputnik and the metric system. On the other side we have Deconstructionism, the French revolutionary terror (in which, to demonstrate their support of reason, the revolutionaries cut the chemist Lavoisier’s head off), the Gulag, Lysenkoism, the Ukrainian famine, and of course Yakov Smirnov.

    Was it worth it?

  140. Since when do squirrels have horns?

    Red squirrels have tufted ears:

    Behold!

  141. …Say…any of you know a good illustrator?

    I always wanted to be a cartoonist…

    …unfortunately, any comic strips I’d make would have to be a collaborative effort (I wouldn’t have the time to make any interesting commentaries myself, no doubt, but I could probably pull off some crappy illustrations. I’d need the ideas of at least one conceptualist behind me, though).

  142. Hey, Lavoisier’s day job was as a tax collector. That’s grounds for a little head-chopping in this neighborhood isn’t it?

  143. “Hey, Lavoisier’s day job was as a tax collector. That’s grounds for a little head-chopping in this neighborhood isn’t it?”

    Maybe if he was executed by a libertarian regime which was opposed to taxes. Instead, the regime which whacked him was just as committed to fleecing the people as the royal regime which preceded it. Lavoisier was considered particularly objectionable because of the *method* of taxation he was involved with, known as tax farming. An unpleasant method, of course, but worse than the revolutionary regime’s taxes, confiscations and inflated currency? Hardly.

    A libertarian revolution might have punished Lavoisier by forcing him to put his scientific skills to the service of the public. Killing him was kind of, uh, overkill.

  144. I’m not sure what your point is, Milton. Are you implying that the fact that irrationality exists in the absence of Christianity means that Christianity is not irrational? Or are you just saying that lots of things besides religion contribute to reason or the lack thereof (in which case I agree)?

  145. OK, on one side of the scale we have Sputnik and the metric system. On the other side we have Deconstructionism, the French revolutionary terror (in which, to demonstrate their support of reason, the revolutionaries cut the chemist Lavoisier’s head off), the Gulag, Lysenkoism, the Ukrainian famine, and of course Yakov Smirnov.

    Was it worth it?

    What kind of dilemma is this?

  146. This is a burglar. He tried to break in and steal Daddy’s stuff. But it’s Daddy’s stuff, not the burglar’s. Now the burglar is pushing up daisies. Good-bye, Mr. Burglar!

    This is an ATF agent. He wants to steal Daddy’s guns. But the ATF agent knows better than to come inside Daddy’s shack and get shot. So he tries to trick Daddy into coming out. But Daddy is staying inside his shack. Fuck off, Mr. ATF agent!

    This is a SWAT team. They want to steal Daddy’s special medicine. Daddy uses his special medicine to relax. Without his special medicine, Daddy gets grouchy. Do you feel lucky, punks?

  147. “Or are you just saying that lots of things besides religion contribute to reason or the lack thereof (in which case I agree)?”

    There was some suggestion that Christiany *prevents* societies from being more rational. If that were so, one would expect to see more rational societies where Christianity has been removed from the equation.

    “You do know what an ‘experiment’ is, right? You do know that you have to hold the other conditions equal when testing for one difference, right? I’m thinking there were some other, nontrivial things going on there at the same time aside from ‘draining Christianity.'”

    I’m sorry I can’t create laboratory conditions in which to conduct a *perfect* controlled experiment taking all factors into account — all I have to work with is history, which I described (metaphorically, if you will) as an experiment because it’s the closest thing to a laboratory we are likely to get.

  148. Milton, the statement, “If [Christianity prevents societies from being more rational], one would expect to see more rational societies where Christianity has been removed from the equation”, is (drum roll please) irrational, in that it assumes that all other factors are constant, a condition which you admit is not the case in history. You’re lending experimental weight to a conclusion you admit is not drawn from valid experimentation, but rather “the closest thing… we are likely to get”.

    And, it goes (rather, should go) without saying that if a thought is indeed irrational then it runs contrary to rational thought, and thus prevents socieites from being more rational, if adhered to.

  149. On further reflection: Since, from your other posts, I gather that you believe (as do I) that the forcible removal of religion from a society is by its very nature unreasonable, for you to point out societies that have done this (and not simply “grown out” of religion, which of course none have yet done), and then say “look at all this other unreasonable stuff they did”, is intellectually dishonest. All you’re proving is something all of us on this board already agree on, that is, that forcing someone to believe something is wrong and bad for society, and is usually accompanied by other wrongs. This doesn’t speak to the rationality of any belief that was discriminated against. You’re basically saying, “the enemy of my enemy is reasonable”.

  150. Wrote the author to tell him how inappropriate it is to try to brainwash little kids. Here’s his response:

    Thanks for the comment, Andrew. I’ll forward it to the
    next person I overhear telling their young children
    that George Bush is a good man who only wants what’s
    best for America.

    Best of luck,
    Jeremy

    Tool.

  151. Thanks for the comment, Andrew. I’ll forward it to the next person I overhear telling their young children that George Bush is a good man who only wants what’s best for America.

    In other words, two wrongs make a right, kids…

  152. Stevo: your “Atlas Seussed” is brilliant, except you need to work in “A is A” somwehere…

  153. “Democrats make sure we are always safe, just like Mommy does.”

    Ok, but don’t blame the kids when they vote Republican in 20 years though. They’re quite good at pushing peoples fear buttons too.

    Ugh. The book is just barf-a-rama. But I don’t doubt many parents do indoctrinate their kids like this.

    “Democrats expect you to believe things based on propaganda, just like Mommy does”.

  154. Akira,

    I’m a Christian, my parents are Christians, and the majority of my entire family are Christians. While I do not appreciate your viscious attacks on my religion, my (Christian) parents raised me to be accepting of other people’s religions (or lack thereof). If you don’t want to believe in God, you don’t have to. Nobody is forcing you to be a Christian. But do not think you’re better than me because you don’t hold the same beliefs. I know what I believe and you know what you believe and that should be good enough. Attacking people for their beliefs only makes you look bad in everyone’s eyes, whether they agree with you or not. In this great country, everyone is free to have their own opinions, but try having some respect for the opinions of others. If you do, you’ll find they’re more willing to respect yours. Success in an arguement starts with an open mind.

  155. zach,

    It was Akira, not Milton, who first waded into the murky waters of speculating what our society would be like were it not for Christianity. If Milton’s conclusions don’t follow from his “experiment”, how much more do Akira’s not follow?

  156. “Red squirrels have tufted ears:”

    Wait.

    So we can assume that the author based his Democrat-voting protagonists on red squirrels?

    That’s some rich irony.

    Well, maybe it isn’t rich, per se, but it’s at least middle-class irony.

  157. It was Akira, not Milton, who first waded into the murky waters of speculating what our society would be like were it not for Christianity. If Milton’s conclusions don’t follow from his “experiment”, how much more do Akira’s not follow?

    My purpose wasn’t to defend something said by Akira, but simply to respond to Milton. I came into the thread late, and besides, I don’t really feel the need to respond to, for instance, the statement “The modern christian hasn’t really changed all that much since 620 CE.

  158. If I come back to reread this item several times a day, does that mean I have bulimia?

  159. ?. . . for you to
    point out societies that have done this (and not simply “grown out” of religion, which of course none have yet done), and then say “look at all this other unreasonable stuff they did”,
    is intellectually dishonest . . . You’re basically saying, ‘the enemy of my enemy is reasonable’.?

    As a matter of fact, I haven’t said that the enemy of my enemy is reasonable. I certainly think it is *mistaken* for you to paraphrase my remarks as you have done, but I am not in a position to say that you’re being dishonest, because I don’t know you well enough to speak with such assurance about your motives.

    I was originally responding to some posts which said that Christianity has had a deleterious effect on society because of its alleged irrationality, and implying that we can make our society more rational by removing Christianity from it. I pointed out that, while we haven’t done experiments in laboratory conditions, those societies which *have* removed Christianity suffered adverse consequences, incurring lots of irrational results.

    Of course, social experimenters who wish to remove Christianity from American society would be quite correct to say that historical experience doesn’t *prove* that their ideas for rationalizing society by removing Christianity would necessarily fail. If the burden of proof was on those who *opposed* the social experimenters, perhaps they couldn’t meet that burden.

    But the burden of proof is actually on the social experimenters themselves. It is up to them to prove that deChristianizing the country would in fact have the beneficial effects they claim, without the side-effects which we have noticed in other countries. They have this burden of proof in part because President George Washington, without whom there may not have been a United States in the first place, made certain warnings against precisely the sort of social experiment we are discussing here. If the father of his country was wrong, then that wrongness should be made to appear from clear evidence. The evidence of other countries’ experience is at least inconclusive on the benefits of deChristianization.

    Let me quote President Washington’s warning from his Farewell Address:

    ?Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice ? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.?

  160. Stevo:

    It may be a case of bull-imia…

    ugh, better purge that one…

  161. That’s all well and good. I never advocated nor defended the “social experiment” you refer to, so I’m not sure why you went to such lengths to attack it in your 3:55 post, unless it was meant for someone else. I was simply responding to your irrational counter-argument:

    There was some suggestion that Christiany *prevents* societies from being more rational. If that were so, one would expect to see more rational societies where Christianity has been removed from the equation.

  162. By the way, I sincerely hope you’re not trying to back up that irrational argument with the argument that George Washington said something on the subject, and thus must be assumed to be correct until proven otherwise, since he had a hand in founding our country.

  163. Before the server cuts me off again, let me reply to zach’s comments.

    “so I’m not sure why you went to such lengths to attack it in your 3:55 post, unless it was meant for someone else.”

    It was. Check out akira’s comments above.

    “your irrational counter-argument”

    I *would* expect the “removal of Christianity from the equation” to produce more rational societies in places where Christianity was the main barrier to rationality. Ideally, we would have laboratory conditions in which only Christianity were removed from the equation, and nothing else. Unfortunately, we don’t have laboratory conditions, so to test akira’s propositions, all we have to go on are the lessons of experience. If akira has the burden of proof (as I’ve demonstrated), he would then need to show that the gulags, the guillotine, Derrida, etc. would all have happened *even if* the Christianity had stayed in.

    For another example of this sort of “irrational” argument, consult William Ellery Channing, whom the Unitarian Universalists claim as one of their founders (The UUs are a militantly “post-Christian” group). Let’s see what Channing had to say about Christian persecution in a remark rarely quoted by the Unitarian Universalists, curiously enough:

    “To those who are fond of exaggerating the wars and persecutions, which Christianity has kindled, we would say, go and witness the blessings of infidel philosophy, where it has been permitted to triumph! Behold the heart hardened into stone, and all tender feelings of our nature giving place to the ferocity of beasts of prey. Behold murder, and perfidy, and rapine let loose, and scattering ruin and dismay. Behold the best blood flowing in torrents, and observe the secret tears of the widow and fatherless, who dare not utter the anguish which consumes them! God has given to all nations an awful monument to the nature and influence of infidel philosophies, and I trust he has not admonished in vain.”

    (“Two Sermons on Infidelity delivered October 24, 1813,” in William Ellery Channing, *People’s Edition of the Entire Works of W. E. Channing, D. D.*, Volume II. London: Simms and M’Intire, 1851, pp. 536-552, at 537.)

  164. I *would* expect the “removal of Christianity from the equation” to produce more rational societies in places where Christianity was the main barrier to rationality.

    This isn’t good enough. You still need to establish stable and favorable economic, political and social conditions. I’m aware that I’m asking the impossible; this is why history simply can’t speak to the question in as definitive a way as you want it to.

  165. Forcing anything on the minds of the populace is a bad thing. I would argue that it is equally coercive and pointless for the government to push institutionalized belief or institutionalized disbelief. States that have tried to enforce a homogeneity of opinion on religious issues have generally not been liberal with other freedoms – see the Islamic ‘republics’ for an example, or the Communist nations other posters have mentioned.

  166. Republicans lost control of congress in ’06!

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