This is All I'm Going to Say about Rick Warren and the Inaugural Invocation…

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Let's just get rid of all invocations at presidential inaugurals. After all, the "tradition" was first introduced by Franklin Delano Roosevelt at his Second Inaugural in 1937. If George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and the 31 presidents before FDR could get along without the benefit of an inaugural prayer, so can the 44th. 

Disclosure: Yes, I am an atheist, just the same way I'm an a-unicornist. Show me a unicorn and I'll believe in them. Same thing goes for gods. 

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  1. But God is like…everywhere! Open your eyes Ronald!

  2. Show me a big bang and I’ll believe in them, too.

  3. Look, it is a known fact that once Obama is sworn in he will go to the podium, raise his hands to Allah, and summon his extremist brethren to go out among the white folks and abduct their women.

    Plus we’ve all seen Obama on a unicorn, so what’s not to believe?

  4. Yes, those that believe in big bang are every bit as kooky as those who believe eternal damnation awaits for all who are not the chosen.

  5. But having Rick Warren there is a cave in to teh Homobigots! It means Obama is a secret Republican! NOT A DIMES WORTH OF DIFFERENCE!!!! MCKINNEY 2012!

  6. “ProgressiveMan” was me, btw. Think of him as LGF Fan’s alter ego.

    Anyway I’ve enjoyed the freak out from the left over this (the parody above is only a slight embelleshment of the Kos freak-out).

  7. Let’s just get rid of all invocations at presidential inaugurals.

    It’s a holdover from the monarchy and one more reminder that we live in an elected dictatorship.

  8. We need a new inauguration tradition.
    Like a Laser-Floyd show inside the rotunda.

  9. There is not really a conflict with being a secret muslim and being in league with the homobigots. just sayin’

  10. I know in my heart that the Big Bang chose me to do it’s bidding.
    Carl Sagan told me so…

  11. That’s some Grade AAA tin foil hat wearing right there, Kolohe.

  12. “let’s get rid of presidential inaugurals”

    nah, you just need Margery Mason to do the introductions.

  13. I’ve also been enjoying the leftist freak out over this.

  14. I watched every angle of this latest teapot-tempest last night, and not a single bobblehead “journalist” asked why we had to have a preacher recite some mumbo-jumbo in an allegedly religion-neutral country. The “establishment clause”? They’d never heard of it.

  15. I support anything that makes the leftist doubletalking phreaks wig out. It’s a good show.

  16. Yes, those that believe in big bang are every bit as kooky as those who believe eternal damnation awaits for all who are not the chosen.

    There’s a mathematical model that requires unbelievers to burn in hell and is supported by all available evidence? You learn something every day.

  17. Show me a unicorn and I’ll believe in them. Same thing goes for gods.

    Agamemnon was one such as you, Ron; and Hercules; proud and arrogant. They defied me – until they felt my wrath.

  18. Do your best freak-out impression of a loony leftist, phalkor.

  19. Maybe he just needed someone to balance out the Rev. Joseph Lowery, who is doing the benediction. Lowery favors legalizing gay marriage. Lowery’s as close as Obama could get to Martin Luther King, Jr. (except, I guess, Martin Luther King III).

  20. I’ll one-up you, Ron. Let’s get rid of everyone’s favorite god, government.

  21. You’re just a materialist, Bailey. Don’t go dressing it up as atheism. If the scope of your awareness won’t reach beyond the five senses, theism doesn’t enter into the reckoning at all.

  22. If George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and the 31 presidents before FDR could get along without the benefit of an inaugural prayer, so can the 44th.

    Agreed.

  23. Show me a big bang and I’ll believe in them, too.

    You mean the cosmic microwave background? Sorry, but your eyes don’t work in those frequencies.

  24. Ron — This is not the first time I’ve seen you undermine the strength of your argument in an italicized postscript. If the whole point is that religion has no place in government, you don’t need to go talking smack about gods and unicorns in the first person. That just makes the whole thing sound kind of petty and self-important. I’m much more impressed by the facts you present about the history of invocations in presidential inaugurations.

    Not a hater, just an English Comp teacher.

  25. probably religious, too

  26. I’ll second what martyred_cars (great pseudonym!) said.

  27. martyred_cars,
    Ron’s postscripts are mostly in jest stemming from a couple of years back when every article he posted regarding global warming or the energy sector was immediately set upon by people claiming that he was shilling for “big oil”. Ron started using a disclaimer of “Yes, I still own those 50 shares of Exxon-Mobile that I bought with my own money”. It has snowballed from there.

    In this case, he assumed, and I dare say rightly, that someone would attempt to call his anti-Invocation stance merely an artifact of his atheistic point of view. Think of it as a preemptive rebuttal.

  28. libertymike | December 19, 2008, 2:18pm | #
    Show me a big bang and I’ll believe in them, too.

    My wife, last night. Oh!

  29. Show me a big bang and I’ll believe in them, too.

    You mean the cosmic microwave background? Sorry, but your eyes don’t work in those frequencies.

    Let me correct myself, you can see the big bang. If you turn on a TV that uses an antenna and tune it to a frequency that doesn’t pick up a station, part of the static you see comes from the remnants of the big bang.

  30. Has it occured to anyone that maybe Obama is telling the truth when he says that he does not support gay marriage? The guy went to a church that is anti-gay marriage for 20 years. I know some of that was to get the Reverend Wright mojo as a half black guy in a black neighborhood. But 20 years worth?

    I spent nine years as an Army JAG. During that time I served with a pretty fair number of black people. I tried cases before predominately black juries and convicted and defended black accused. I also went to a
    fairly integrated suburban school system in Kansas City. I am currently an officer in the District of Columbia National Guard, which is majority black. My experience is that you are absolutely correct that there is a conservative streak a mile wide running through the black community. I grew up in a very conservative, though not particularly religious, white Midwestern family only a generation or so removed from rural life. I
    find that culturally I have more in common with many of the black people I served with in the Army than I do with my upper middle class neighbors in suburban Washington. That impression is probably skewed by knowing
    mostly black people serving in the military, but not totally skewed.

    Most of my black friends and collegues are like me only a couple of generations removed from the farm and have pretty much the same cultural view that my rural white family does. That would shock the hell out of some of my family members but it is true. I always laugh when my liberal white friends, who in fact know very few black people, talk about how liberal black people are.

    They are not liberal. They are Democratic. There is a difference. They vote Democratic because many of them are convinced the Republicans are racist. They do not vote Democratic because large numbers of them agree with the Democrats on social issues like gay marriage or even abortion.

    I can’t speak for Obama. I don’t know the man and don’t know what he believes. But is it not possible that Obama, like many other black people in this country, is not a paragon of politically correct social views?

    Even if he is not, maybe the guy thinks that believing a certain way shouldn’t disqualify you from public life? Maybe he just likes Warren and doesn’t think his views on homosexuality should render him unacceptable to polite company. If that is the case, it doesn’t make me like Obama anymore but it does make me respect him more. For the record, I can’t stand Warren or any other big church big money pastor. But, that said, I don’t think being against gay marriage should disqualify you from public life. Maybe Obama agrees with me. Oh the horror!!

  31. It’s Obama’s party. He can pray if he wants to.

  32. I’d say blacks tend to be fiscally liberal and socially conservative*.

    *In general. YMMV.

  33. Yes, I am an atheist, just the same way I’m an a-unicornist. Show me a unicorn and I’ll believe in them. Same thing goes for gods.

    I take it you don’t believe in electrons, either.

    There’s a mathematical model that requires unbelievers to burn in hell and is supported by all available evidence?

    Way to move the goalpoasts. We’re talking about belief in a god, not in the particular doctrines of a certain religion. There is no evidence that the universe came into being without a creator.

    And if we’re going to get technical, the big bang theory has needed more than a bit of tinkering to fit all the available evidence, such as the inflationary hypothesis.

    You mean the cosmic microwave background?

    Seeing the CMB is not seeing the big bang, any more than seeing ripples on a pond entails seeing a pebble drop into it.

  34. BDB,

    I would say you are right about that.

  35. If you turn on a TV that uses an antenna and tune it to a frequency that doesn’t pick up a station, part of the static you see comes from the remnants of the big bang.

    So if I look in my unraked back yard and see a bunch of leaves with some dog shit mixed in, does that mean I see a dog and a tree?

  36. martyred_car: What Kwix said.
    Kwix: Thanks.

  37. I’d say blacks tend to be fiscally liberal and socially conservative*.

    Certainly in Chicago the Black Church is the fiscally liberal equivalent of the bible-belt evangelicals. Funny how they don’t take the rap that Falwell et al. do.

  38. I have to think that if Obama got a black preacher that believed the same things Warren did, we wouldn’t hear a peep from the leftists.

  39. There is a difference. They [African-Americans] vote Democratic because many of them are convinced the Republicans are racist. They do not vote Democratic because large numbers of them agree with the Democrats on social issues like gay marriage or even abortion.

    Totally agree. If it wasn’t for the republican base, the republican party would be unstoppable. But for whatever reason, the republican base always needs an enemy, and at this point every race, creed, locality and genger short of rural white males have found themselves derided as unamerican both on talk radio and the floor of Republican National Conventions. As a liberal, I’m thrilled to see the republican party so focused on suicide, but that doesn’t mean I understand it.

  40. “I have to think that if Obama got a black preacher that believed the same things Warren did, we wouldn’t hear a peep from the leftists.”

    I would imagine Reverend Wright and Warren agree on the morality of gay marriage and homosexuality in general. Yet, leftists didn’t seem to care that Obama attended his church for 20 years. Ultimately, leftists view black churches as some kind of exotic culture not subject to the same moral rules that white churchs are subject to, which pretty gross when you think about it.

  41. So if I look in my unraked back yard and see a bunch of leaves with some dog shit mixed in, does that mean I see a dog and a tree?

    shadow, the CMB is light. It is a remnant of the big bang. Your argument is the same as saying we do not see objects, such as unicorns made of plastic, we only see photons.

    Oh, and whether or not you see the dog or the tree, there is some pretty good evidence that they are around.

    And if we’re going to get technical, the big bang theory has needed more than a bit of tinkering to fit all the available evidence, such as the inflationary hypothesis.

    You could not be more wrong. The inflatinary hypothesis predicted, to a remarkable accuracy, the angular energy density of the CMB.

  42. “You could not be more wrong. The inflatinary hypothesis predicted, to a remarkable accuracy, the angular energy density of the CMB.”

    But the big bang theory did not predict the enormous amounts of dark matter out there. We have no idea what the hell it is or how it came to be, but we know its there because of its effects.

    Ultimately, nothing in science will ever prove or disprove the existence of God. All science does is observe, explain in the simpliest way, and predict. It can do nothing else. It can’t tell us why and it can’t tell us what is behind the curtain, if anything.

  43. *inflationary* — preview is my friend.

  44. “I would imagine Reverend Wright and Warren agree on the morality of gay marriage and homosexuality in general. ”

    Also funny is the leftists that say of course Obama didn’t agree with Wright on everything, but when he picks Warren, it’s because he’s a closeted homophobe!

  45. But the big bang theory did not predict the enormous amounts of dark matter out there.

    Huh? It didn’t predict when my tea would get cold either.

    Ultimately, nothing in science will ever prove or disprove the existence of God.

    I disagree. Define this thing called God, then let’s see if science can prove or disprove it’s existence.

  46. Oh, and whether or not you see the dog or the tree, there is some pretty good evidence that they are around.

    I absolutely agree. But that’s not the level of evidence Mr. Bailey purports to demand — he must see the dog or the tree itself, not merely the results of their presence.

    You could not be more wrong. The inflatinary hypothesis predicted, to a remarkable accuracy, the angular energy density of the CMB.

    As the addition of epicycles to the geocentric model of the universe gave a high degree of accuracy with respect to astronomical observations. When you have to tinker with a model to make it fit, perhaps you should question your model rather than boast of the tinkering.

  47. Define this thing called God, then let’s see if science can prove or disprove it’s existence.

    God is that which science cannot prove or disprove the existence of.

  48. “I disagree. Define this thing called God, then let’s see if science can prove or disprove it’s existence.”

    How? All science could do at most is disprove my definition of God and it is unlikly to do that. It could not disprove every definition of God. It could maybe say “God can’t be this or that”, but it cannot say in any ultimate sense “God cannot be”.

  49. I should clarify, that Aquinas’ cosmological argument proves that science — due to its inherent causal structure — cannot explain everything in the universe. Hume’s critique of the cosmological argument shows that the argument fails to prove the existence of a particular God, but it does not negate the conclusion that there exist matters that cannot be treated scientifically.

  50. I am not Pro Libertate. I am the Form of Pro Libertate.

    Please continue your thread.

  51. God is that which science cannot prove or disprove the existence of.

    Then don’t use it when discussing science.

    All science could do at most is disprove my definition of God and it is unlikly to do that. It could not disprove every definition of God.

    Thanks for making my point. God doesn’t have much meaning if nobody can agree on what it is.

    Got to run, I have carpool duty.

  52. Then don’t use it when discussing science.

    I wasn’t.

  53. Killjoy Bailey… next thing, he’s gonna say flying ponies don’t exist.

    Sigh…

  54. Way to move the goalpoasts. We’re talking about belief in a god, not in the particular doctrines of a certain religion.

    I wasn’t. I was ridiculing the notion that believing in the big bang is eqivalent as believing in hell.

    There is no evidence that the universe came into being without a creator.

    My dog licks his balls.

  55. Warty, are you sure you’re not just Zitty? Cause some of us are trying to have a serious adult discussion and we don’t need a sophomoric 12-year-old interrupting.

  56. stuartl – Inflation (cosmological, not monetary) did NOT predict the homogeneity of the CMB. It was added on after the fact to explain the homogeneity. There is a significant difference there.
    -K

  57. God is that which science cannot prove or disprove the existence of.

    Speaking of sophomoric…but congratulations on being serious. Don’t let me get in the way; please continue with your non sequiturs.

  58. I absolutely agree. But that’s not the level of evidence Mr. Bailey purports to demand — he must see the dog or the tree itself, not merely the results of their presence.

    your being overally literal. As kwix said it’s an off handed comment. A more precise wording would likely be ‘if I see hoofprints in the snow I think a horse, not a unicorn.’

  59. If George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and the 31 presidents before FDR could get along without the benefit of an inaugural prayer, so can the 44th.

    Hear, hear. BTW: there is no god, and Mary is his mother…

  60. Jesus’s mom was a virgin. That’s hot.

  61. Inflation (cosmological, not monetary) did NOT predict the homogeneity of the CMB. It was added on after the fact to explain the homogeneity. There is a significant difference there.

    Karl, I’m not sure what you are talking about. Gamow predicted CMB with a rough guess at the temperature that was refined over time. It was discovered by Penzias and Wilson.

    Later, Harrison, Peebles and Yu, and Zel’dovich realized that there would be inhomogeneities in the CMB, the COBE satellite found them.

    Work on inflation made predictions about the flatness of the universe as well as the about the anisotropy (essentially energy versus angle) of the radiation, various experiments (WMAP, CBI, and others) have verified these predictions. Like most science, experiment and theory work hand in hand, some theories have been thrown out as the data comes in, and others have been refined, but the data for inflation is very strong.

  62. God is that which science cannot prove or disprove the existence of.

    Then don’t use it when discussing science.

    I wasn’t.

    Shadow, sorry, I mistakenly attributed a comment that was not yours to you. I will say that your definition describes a pretty lame god.

    As the addition of epicycles to the geocentric model of the universe gave a high degree of accuracy with respect to astronomical observations. When you have to tinker with a model to make it fit, perhaps you should question your model rather than boast of the tinkering.

    This shows a deep misunderstanding of how science works. Theories are continually refined and improved as data comes in. A hallmark of good science is that understanding becomes more and more clear. Theory advances to match data, experiments are done to challenge theory.

    Epicycles were rejected because a better, simpler explanation came along. Copernicus could not explain why the planets moved around the sun, but it was a simpler explanation. Some time later Newton posited universal gravitation which illuminated matters further. He did leave several problems, such as how to explain action at a distance. Einstein tackled that one.

    Even with all of these changes and refinement, we no longer question that the earth moves around the sun.

    Well, I admit one of the local truthers does, but that is because he misunderstands some simple college physics.

  63. stuartl,

    Epicycles were accepted for centuries after Copernicus because they fit the data better than his admittedly simpler model (which insisted that the planets’ orbits were circular rather than elliptic). This fact is often forgotten by those who relate the story of Galileo’s persecution — his model was incorrect and was less consistent with available data than the geocentric model with epicycles.

    The point being that epicycles were not immediately rejected once a simpler theory came along. Science spent hundreds of years upholding a fundamentally flawed model that required tinkering, at the expense of a minorly flawed model that was simpler. Condensing centuries’ worth of thrashing about into a single paragraph doesn’t change that.

  64. may Cthulhu bless america

  65. I’ll show you a “BigBang” Liberty Mike….hahahahahaahaha

  66. democraticunderground.com is going completely bonkers over the warren thing. especially the GLBT forum. seriously, it is hilarious.

    “why we had to have a preacher recite some mumbo-jumbo in an allegedly religion-neutral country”

    we don’t. it’s merely tradition, one that obama is CHOOSING to continue. he has the control. cause it’s his party. he could decide not to have an invocation prayer. heck, he could substitute a chainsaw juggler. heck, he could have penn and teller do a quick magic trick.

    it’s his frigging invocation. if he wants prayers, that’s his thang.

  67. The sad part of the story is that on one side you see Obama seemingly making his own decisions and delivering the “hope” that he is indeed the real deal,a man to lead us forward, and on on the other you catch a glimpse of strings being pulled by omnipresent puppeteers reminding all of us that “hope” might get lost in the ether of presidential politics.

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