Election 2016

Gov. Bobby Jindal Says "We have tried everything and now it is time to turn back to God." No it's not.

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Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.) has proven to be one of the most effective and incorruptible legislators that the Bayou State has had. Unlike a long line of pols from Louisiana, he is neither a demagogue, a racist, nor simply a criminal willing to take bribes and cut shady deals for his pals. A few years back, he pissed off Republicans by rightly insisting that the GOP stop being "the stupid party" when it came to policy debates.

He's worked hard to help reform school finance in a way that accelerates not just choice for students and parents but better results too; he's privatized and contracted-out many states services at great savings; and he's pushed for common-sense policies such as making birth control available without a prescription.

But as his presidential aspirations grow, so is his desire to mix religion and politics. Speaking to a group of Christian and Jewish leaders in Iowa, Jindal averred:

"The reality is I'm here today because I genuinely, sincerely, passionately believe that America's in desperate need of a spiritual revival," Jindal, who is weighing a presidential bid, said during a 37-minute-long speech followed by a 20-minute question-and-answer session.

"I love to quote Winston Churchill. … 'You can always count on the Americans to do the right thing after they've exhausted every alternative,' " Jindal said.

"That's where we are as a country," he continued. "We have tried everything and now it is time to turn back to God."

No, it's not time to "turn back to God," especially when it comes to politics and public policy. What ails the government is not a deficit of religiosity but a nearly complete failure to deal with practical issues of spending versus revenue, creating a simple and fair tax system, reforming entitlements, and getting real about the limits of America's ability to control every corner of the globe. God has nothing to do with any of that. The fault lies not in our stars but in policies.

fivethirtyeight.com

Jindal's parents are Hindu, but he converted to Catholicism and once wrote about participating in an exorcism while an undergraduate. I don't question his faith, only its relevance to coming up with smart and effective policies, especially ones that will limit the size, scope, and spending of government. You don't need to be a believer to realize government at all levels is trying to do too many things for which it has no competency nor warrant.

In an interview with the Des Moines Register, Jindal brushed aside the idea that god talk would alienate business-minded independents, conservatives, and libertarians who like to keep religion and politics separate:

"The GOP is not only the party that fights for smaller government, lower taxes, school choice and energy independence, it's the party that fights to protect "innocent human life and traditional marriage," he said.

"We should be a party that's proud of our conservative principles. Our country doesn't need two liberal parties," he said. "Not everybody's going to agree with us 100 percent of the time, and that's OK. What the country doesn't want, I think, is a party that's pretending to be something it's not. If all we do is pretend to be cheaper Democrats, we'll never earn the right to be in the majority. Let's stand up for what we believe. Let's be authentic. Let's be sincere. Let's not discriminate. Let's respect people who disagree with us. Let's be bold and specific."

For some in the audience of his Iowa speech, such sentiments were sweet, sweet music. One Pentecostal minister told the Register:

"That's the message the country needs to hear: If the people start to humble themselves and look to God and pray, then God is going to start healing the land."

Other were less impressed. One woman identified as an "evangelical leader" said:

She's seen some Republicans establish themselves as budget-minded conservatives before pursuing social issues. It allows them to gain credibility, she said, without being pigeon-holed as a religious conservative.

Read the whole piece here.

As the Republican field begins to come into clearer focus regarding 2016, I hope that it will recognize that the United States is an increasingly secular country. That doesn't mean religion isn't important in people's lives, or that it may have an effect on how they live their lives (for better and for worse). But it does mean that mixing religion and politics will alienate many voters (even religious ones) who realize these are two separate spheres.

Two things are worth noting when it comes millennarian talk of contemporary America as somehow a bastion of sinners in the hands of an angry god. First, over the same time that Christians of all denominations and other religiously minded folks have complained about increases in coarsening materialism, virtually all signs of social pathology have declined. There's less crime, including less violent crime and sexual assault. Drug abuse is not spiking, divorce rates have declined, abortions and teen sex rates are down, and nobody is starving in America. That's not to mistake the current world for a shining city on a hill, but we're certainly not a 21st-century Sodom. Unless you simply cannot countenance the political equality of gays and lesbians.

Where there are problems, they stem directly from awful government policies pursued by the two most-recent presidents, both of whom are god-fearing Christians. They spent too much money and regulated the hell out of all aspects of the country's business. They have a willingness to torture people and surveil regular American citizens while flouting constitutional protections on civil liberties. Police militarization, like bank bailouts and stimulus spending, will not be reformed by appeals to god. Conservatives of all people should recognize that the state should treat citizens as individauls who are equal before the law, which is a prima facie case for accepting gay marriage.

All over the world, we can find endless of examples of how mixing religion and politics leads not simply to economic ruination but awful, awful outcomes for civil society. We find exceptionally few where infusing politics with religion and appeals to "turn back to God" does anything other than create endless turmoil.

Long before the United States was a country, the great proto-libertarian and religious dissenter Roger Williams wrote the first extended English-language tract calling for fully secular government. Forced worship "stinks in God's nostrils," he said, and even his own heartfelt religion—he co-founded the first Baptist congregation in the American colonies—had no place in public life. Williams founded Providence as a haven where people of all faiths, including Catholics (arguably the most-despised sect in the colonies), Jews, and even "Mohammedans," could live in peace among each other and hold office and property. Williams worried that mixing religion and politics would poison religion and corrupt it.

You can argue about that, but this much seems clear to me: The political problems facing us don't need a supernatural answer. They need politicians and voters who are willing to take responsibility for how much money they spend and how much they're willing to raise through taxes; whether they believe young people should be forced to pay for relatively lavish old-age benefits to relatively wealthy retirees; whether America should shell out half the world's military spending and be in every damn country on the globe; and much more. These are problems for the here and now and on most if not all of these, the Lord is silent.

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  1. Republican leaders believe in turning back to God as sincerely as they believe in any other principles that they claim to espouse. That is, once the useful idiots in the conservative branches of Christianity stop being useful, they will end up under the bus. Then again, at least those useful idiots are honest about believing what political true believers in both Team Red and Team Blue actually believe, namely, that it’s all about appeasing the tribal god.

    1. While that may have been true up until the Reagan administration, those people are now dug-in to the party infrastructure.

      1. So dug in that not one bit of non-symbolic legislation that they want has ever been enacted.

        1. Riiiight. Because dug-in to party infrastructure is exactly the same as having supermajorities in all houses of legislation both state and national.

          Also, that’s some nice weaseling with that “non-symbolic”.

          Sure, whatever, man.

          1. So, where is the change in law or policy from those dug-in guys? Any examples? Or does “dug-in” mean (in your mind) a symbolic sop to a voting bloc with no real power or effect?

    2. Republican leaders believe in turning back to God as sincerely as they believe in any other principles that they claim to espouse.

      Maybe. I think a couple of them are sincere. I don’t know which is worse.

      1. Better a weasel than a theocrat.

  2. Ah, yes – nothing more terrifying than an appeal to be more religious. I didn’t see “forced worship” in there anywhere, Nick, although I’m sure we’ll cross that slippery slope when we have one in the bush.

    Wait, what?

    1. The man is on record as an ID creationist. His credentials as a “hands-off” religionist are unconvincing at best. They are actually worse than Bush’s.
      Anyone who is convinced by ID, and with a biology degree no less, is worse than an idiot. He’s a scoundrel.

      1. Why?

        What’s the obsession with creationism? Most people that think only an idiot would be a creationist cannot themselves describe operational evolution. And further believe in social and economic creationism with the government as god.

        Frankly what fucking difference does it make if a politician believes in evolution or that the world is floating on a turtles back.

        The left’s obsession with purging creation believers from public life is reminiscent of Christians in the bad old days purging the believers of heretical ideas from society.

        1. Creationism is the terrorism of the lower classes.

          Wait, I need to work on that. Lower classes? Hrm. Proletariat, maybe. Creationism is the terrorism of the proletariat.

          Yeah, that works a bit better.

        2. Put simply, I consider that creationists are irrational and I don’t trust them with the levers of power.

          Christian persecution syndrome trotted out again, and duly noted.

          1. “Put simply, I consider that creationists are irrational and I don’t trust them with the levers of power.”

            All right. But whether politicians profess to believe in evolution or creationism has little policy implications. That cannot be said about global warming fundamentalism.

            1. That’s the thing. If Jindal believes in creationism in one compartment of his mind but he still manages to let the godless geologists find and drill for oil, then let it be.

              As for filling children’s heads with creationism, they can grow up to compartmentalize similarly.

            2. It’s a confidence thing, Griz. From where I and the other rationalists are sitting you just never know when one of those religious whackjobs is going to have a revelation or some other god-related thingy go off inside their head and start ignoring law and common sense. Seriously. I consider their judgement to be fundamentally flawed.

              Don’t know why you brought up CAGW, since that’s not under discussion here. Distraction, goalpost moving or something similar? Also, I’m not a CAGW believer…

              1. I think Grrizzly brought up CAGW because its adherents hold to its tenets as tenaciously as they would a religion, and in fact, it probably fills the religion-sized hole in their soul.

              2. Tonio, I grew up an atheist in an atheist socialist country. I’m still very much an atheist. I just find the obsession in the American society with creationism/evolution a bit amusing. It serves to place religious believers who acknowledge evolution on the side of right-thinking people (like you and me). But in other, more atheist, societies the demarcation line can be drawn elsewhere: in my circle in Russia in the ’90s (I’m not going to claim anything about the current situation there) that would be the divide between atheists and believers.

                Obviously, I had to reconcile myself with the fact that people who like me lack religious believes can be wrong on every other issue that I find important, while some societies run by religious believers turned out to be much freer and more prosperous. And I’m still not convinced that whether religious believers accept evolution or not is the most important test that separates “reasonable” believers from the rest.

                I consider environmentalism a contemporary civil religion that is likely to have a stronger direct (irrational and negative) effect in some important areas than traditional religions.

              3. Why bring up CAGW?

                Because the adherents of that religion get their faith taught in schools–as science. Because the adherents of that fantasy actually do hold the levers of power and play with them as if they are drumsticks.

                And they endlessly tell us that they’re ‘rational’–when all evidence shows that they’re not.

          2. So are Socialists, and Socialists have killed far more people far more recently.

            I mean, as long as we are callimg out irrational belief systems…..

        3. Perhaps it reveals a certain unwillingness to deal with facts and reason when confronting reality? Sort of an important aspect in an elected official.

          Also, remind me where an evolutionist(s) held unfair trials, tortured, or killed a creationist(s).

        4. Also, politicians end up in charge of education policy, so his beliefs matter. He favors allowing schools to teach ID.

          Which is odd, since the Catholic church officially accepts evolution as fact.

          1. Correction: The Catholic church officially finds evolution not contrary to its own teachings. The Catholic church could not “accept[] evolution as fact,” because that would be making a scientific statement that the Church is not competent (and does not regard itself as competent) to make.

            1. that would be making a scientific statement that the Church is not competent (and does not regard itself as competent) to make.

              When in hell has that ever stopped it? I’d recommend you read a two volume work titled, A History of the Warfare of Science With Theology in Christendom published in 1896 by Andrew Dickson White, founder of Cornell University.

            2. Eh, fine. I mean, science doesn’t except evolution as “fact” either. It’s not even a fact (in the scientific sense) that the earth orbits the sun. That’s why they call it a theory. A “fact” is something like “It took 3.72 seconds for the marble to fall to the floor.”

              But there’s a big difference between the official Catholic stance, and “let’s teach ID in schools.”

        5. The left’s obsession with purging creation believers from public life is reminiscent of Christians in the bad old days purging the believers of heretical ideas from society.

          Unless the left has been rounding up the creationists and setting them on fire, no, it’s not reminiscent.

          1. It’s Christian Persecution Syndrome in full bloom, Laconic. See, here’s the way that works – you can’t say anything negative about Christians or their beliefs without oppressing them. Yet, it’s just fine for Christians to say bad things about rationalists, proggies, atheists, anti-clericalists or whoever their supposed enemy of the moment is.

            1. Except that people do. Constantly. And when christians say something back they get slapped down. With applause.

              And why, pray, did you include ‘proggies’ in that? It is the duty of any sentient to say bad things about proggies–lest their authoritarian statist worldview take total control even faster than it is doing so now.

        6. What do you think of those who believe in both intelligent design and evolution, as a single process? That a non-material encoding of information unfolds in the gradual accession of biologic forms?

        7. Yeah Man!
          Lemme now lead us all in worship?

          Scienfoology Song? GAWD = Government Almighty’s Wrath Delivers

          Government loves me, This I know,
          For the Government tells me so,
          Little ones to GAWD belong,
          We are weak, but GAWD is strong!
          Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
          Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
          Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
          My Nannies tell me so!

          GAWD does love me, yes indeed,
          Keeps me safe, and gives me feed,
          Shelters me from bad drugs and weed,
          And gives me all that I might need!
          Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
          Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
          Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
          My Nannies tell me so!

          DEA, CIA, KGB,
          Our protectors, they will be,
          FBI, TSA, and FDA,
          With us, astride us, in every way!
          Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
          Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
          Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
          My Nannies tell me so!

      2. Who the hell cares? Most people on earth espouse some flavor of intelligent design. Bobby Jindal’s views on the origin of the universe are almost as relevant as Bill Clinton’s favorite sex position.

        1. Most people on earth espouse some flavor of intelligent design.

          Most people on earth aren’t running for president. It may be irrelevant, in which case a rational person would say, “I’m running for president not biology teacher. I’m not answering any questions or making any statements about biology.” The fact that he’s happy to spout nonsense where he has no particular knowledge is a sure sign of just another hack politician.

        2. If you have a guy running around pounding tom-toms and doing rain dances for the sky-father it kind of gives the progs an edge in the whole “party of science and reason” category.

          1. But he doesn’t. He drills for oil, despite the fact that dinosaurs aren’t in the creation myth.

            But yes, it does give proggies another avenue of attack. They go after people like Jindal and Palin for both creationism AND drilling.

            1. Latest science says the vast majority of oil is from algae.

              /TheMoreYouKnow

              1. Oh damn, there goes my joke about smearing dead dinosaur carcasses on my lips whenever I use Vaseline.

            2. Job 40
              15 “Look at Behemoth,
              which I made along with you
              and which feeds on grass like an ox.
              16 What strength it has in its loins,
              what power in the muscles of its belly!
              17 Its tail sways like a cedar;
              the sinews of its thighs are close-knit.
              18 Its bones are tubes of bronze,
              its limbs like rods of iron.
              19 It ranks first among the works of God,
              yet its Maker can approach it with his sword.
              20 The hills bring it their produce,
              and all the wild animals play nearby.
              21 Under the lotus plants it lies,
              hidden among the reeds in the marsh.
              22 The lotuses conceal it in their shadow;
              the poplars by the stream surround it.
              23 A raging river does not alarm it;
              it is secure, though the Jordan should surge against its mouth.
              24 Can anyone capture it by the eyes,
              or trap it and pierce its nose?

          2. The progs are waiting for the toom-toom/sky-father candidate, aren’t they? That IS Warren you’re talking about, right?

            And they’d fall over themselves to get an openly alternately religious candidate–no matter how backwards the worldview.

            1. Wow. ‘toom-toom’. How did that happen?

              It must be the piping……

  3. *God throws lightning bolt at Nick Gillespie*

    How do you like them burned apples, mortal?

  4. People got to get their sense of morality from somewhere. Better to get it from Christianity than from the might-makes-right morality of progressivism.

    1. How many people get their sense of morality from Christianity? The Christians whom I know seem to decide first what they believe, cherry-pick and “interpret” Bible verses to fit, and ignore the rest.

      1. They exist.

      2. Yes and non-Christians certainly don’t cherry pick anything out of the Bible.

        Both are wrong

        1. non-Christians certainly don’t cherry pick anything out of the Bible

          Uh…what?

          1. You know, how non-Christians cherry pick things like fathers fucking daughters, prescriptions for the proper type of burned offering, etc. to show that Christianity is kooky.

            1. Well when I cite those atrocities as having been commanded by your god, who is touted as the infallible representative of all that is moral and good, whether or not Yahweh commanded some Israelites to slaughter babies is a pretty important thing to point out.

              Christians must either endorse mass rape and infanticide or admit their god is actually rather fallible.

              1. He ain’t my God!

      3. How many people get their sense of morality from Christianity?

        Would you prefer I get it from the state? Or do you get to tell me where I can and can’t cherry-pick from?

      4. How many people get their sense of morality from Christianity?

        Progressives do, they’re just to dumb to realize that is the ultimate source of their premises.

        Greed, profit are evil and commerce is suspect.

        Poor people are good and rich people are bad.

        Community over individualism.

        Humans are born with original sin (racism, greed) which require atonement to god (government).

        Deference to authority.

        1. The difference is the application of force. Christianity teaches you to make the right choices for the right reasons. Progressivism is all about force and revenge.

          1. No:

            Gambling
            Drinking
            Drugs
            Prostitution
            Nudie bars
            Smoking
            Porn
            Homo marriage
            Sex
            Abortion (perhaps correctly, but for the wrong reasons)

            Cuz…God.

            Yeah, no force here.

            1. Prostitution, gambling, drinking, drug use, smoking, and porn were far less circumscribed during the Middle Ages than they are today.

              This is another case of Christian or practical atheist rule being demonstrably preferable to secular reign. The explicitly Christian barbarian states of the Middle Ages would not have thought to regulate most of the items you note; while we don’t have very good atheist real-world examples to refer to I would imagine that a country of Franciscos would be unlikely to do so, either.

              1. “while we don’t have very good atheist real-world examples to refer to”

                We don’t?

                1. I’m still on the fence RE: whether socialism is genuinely atheist in any real sense; it obviously derives a large core of its ethics and eschatology from Christianity and certain aspects of its organization smack of ecclesiological arrangements, as well. (The same is true of libertarianism, FWIW.)

                  Certain strands in fascism or Objectivism are closer to being genuinely atheist (rather than pseudo- or post-Christian) philosophies IMO, but a) seem like a bit of an unintentional Godwin and b) are terrible examples, anyways (for different reasons). Utilititarian philosophies are likewise sufficiently apart from Christianity to count, but don’t have a good go-to implementation which I can clearly point to.

            2. It’s not about belief in God, it’s about control. Religion is just a pretext. If you try to take it away then people invent other pretexts which are functionally identical with religion but much more virulent. Because people who think they’re better than religion don’t recognize the dangerous rush of zealotry when they feel it.

              Think of Judeo-Christian morality as cowpox. It may cause mild symptoms from time to time, but the antibodies it creates protect you from succumbing to a fatal case of totalitarianism.

              1. Me likee.

            3. No:

              Gambling
              Drinking
              Drugs
              Prostitution
              Nudie bars
              Smoking
              Porn
              Homo marriage
              Sex
              Abortion (perhaps correctly, but for the wrong reasons)

              Cuz…God.

              Yeah, no force here.

              The only point I get out of this is that SoCons are pretty good at embracing millenia old debunked heresies about sacramentalism and salvation through works.

            4. I think, if you give that a good poke, you’ll find progressive evangelicals behind a whole lot of that.

          2. He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt:

            “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.

            The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’

            But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

            Progressives are our modern Pharisees.

            1. It’s ok to be an asshole as long as you aren’t a dick about it.

          3. Actually, Christianity teaches you to make the right choices(according to them) or you’ll be punished with hellfire. Progressivism teaches you to make the right choices (according to them) or you’ll be kill or imprisoned. They aren’t all that different. Both rely on the threat or application of force.

            1. No. Telling someone that you think they will burn in hellfire is not the application of force.

            2. Reminds me of an old Hitchens adage. Religion is a “celestial North Korea.”

            3. Actually, Christianity teaches you to make the right choices(according to them) or you’ll be punished with hellfire.

              Technically it’s only one choice to be made. Either you believe (as in wholly buy in and fit your life to your intellectual belief) or you don’t. The rest of the Bible is just pretext for showing why your choice of belief/unbelief is important.

              The fact that the Church fucks that message up so badly as to create breeding grounds for tyrannical movements is not on Christianity itself but on the Christians (to paraphrase Gandhi).

              1. Belief is involuntary. It can’t be a choice if it’s sincere.

                1. Belief is involuntary. It can’t be a choice if it’s sincere.

                  Welcome to Calvinism. I personally don’t agree, as I’m not a Calvinist, but it is a view held by many.

            4. I prefer the risk of hellfire to imprisonment. Unless you’re talking about the missile.

        2. And thus, Nietzsche was right about the whole ‘secularized Judeo-Christian ethics structure’ thing.

          1. Absolutely true. Maybe one day we’ll get a genuinely atheist ethic that isn’t either refried Christianity or genuine awfulness. Wouldn’t that be the day.

      5. How many people get their sense of morality from Christianity?

        Libertarians and socialists, for starters.

        1. I see more Judeo-Christian morality at this forum than I do at places like Red State.

      6. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/kant-moral/

        Morality can be deduced from first principles using reason and logic without need to invoke a god. See the Categorical Imperatives.

        1. Ooh. Cool.

    2. At the very least, you think it would be obvious that the centuries-to-millenia old made up stories about right and wrong would be preferable to the brand new ones.

      If not for having stood any test of time then at least for consistency.

      1. Consistency?

        Have you actually read the Bible?

        Consistency is not one of its strong points.

        1. Consistency is not one of its strong points.

          And, astoundingly, the history/lessons/mores/teachings of modern progressivism are even weaker.

      2. Just cuz that’s how we’ve always done things, doesn’t make it the right way or best way to do things.

        1. Just cuz that’s how we’ve always done things, doesn’t make it the right way or best way to do things.

          The heart of modern progressivism.

    3. Better to get it from Christianity than from the might-makes-right morality of progressivism.

      What’s the difference? They both want to tell you how to live your life.

      1. I’d rather be ruled by Christians than by Progressives.

        I really don’t see Christian rule taking the path to totalitarianism, while for Progressives it is their explicit goal.

        1. I don’t want to be ruled by either one. And they are not diametrically opposed philosophies as you might like to believe.

          1. I’d rather not be ruled either. And yeah, there are some similarities, but I don’t see Christianity as being vindictive like Progressivism. Christianity teaches you to hate the sin but love the sinner. Progressivism just teaches you to hate. Hate the rich, hate the corporations, hate the intolerant, hate, hate, hate…

            1. Christianity is plenty vindictive. Try merely mentioning that you don’t think their God exists. Nothing else, just that, and you will get plenty of vindictive.

              They’ve just been out of total power for so long they have better optics on the issue right now.

              The real split is between SoCons and Theocons. SoCons want you to believe in God, Theocons would be happy to make you say you do at gunpoint. The problem is that the theocons hide among the socons and are just vocal enough to make them all sound crazy.

              1. Try merely mentioning that you don’t think their God exists.

                Do they lock their car doors at you?

                  1. Believers Rate Atheists About As Trustworthy As Rapists, Says New Study

                    Worse than locking their car doors, they completely fill in the ‘Strongly Dislike’ bubble at you!

              2. Christianity is plenty vindictive. Try merely mentioning that you don’t think their God exists.

                Sorry to indulge in this cliche, but that’s where the distinction between Christianity and so-called Christians comes in.

                I haven’t studied Christianity in a while but I do recall a vindictive streak backing up a lot of the calls to generosity and cheek-turning. Still, I think these nasty fucks who call you names when you say you don’t believe in their god are not following the message of the man called Jesus Christ.

                1. This is why I dislike cultural Christians. They are TEAM players in religion just as much as they are in politics. They have no understanding of the underpinnings of their beliefs other than a few vague notions about Luther and the Crusades.

                  As somebody who was in and out of the church in childhood, became agnostic in high school, and came back to the church in adulthood, I find the entirely unexamined, contradictory, and often heretical beliefs of most modern American Christians to be offensively lazy,and downright dangerous to liberty. Most of the heresies espoused by the church, both historically and presently, have been centered around aggregating control to the elites. A lazy, unintrospective Christian majority is just as dangerous as a rabid progressive majority

                  1. A lazy, unintrospective Christian majority is just as dangerous as a rabid progressive majority

                    A lazy, unintrospective majority is dangerous regardless of the stripe. Formalized religions of all types carry tenets (more or less explicit) of this introspection.

                    Not all who observe the religion(s) observe the active introspection, but only atheism (not all forms) adamantly sets itself in opposition of active introspection.

            2. “Christianity teaches you to hate the sin but love the sinner.”
              ——————
              I hear this all the time, but where, specifically, does it do this? I generally see this invoked in arguments about gay marriage and how we should love homosexuals but hate their sin, as a rationale for banishing them from society.

              1. “Christianity teaches you to hate the sin but love the sinner.”
                ——————
                I hear this all the time, but where, specifically, does it do this? I generally see this invoked in arguments about gay marriage and how we should love homosexuals but hate their sin, as a rationale for banishing them from society.

                St. Augustine. It was not a teaching of Christ.

                1. And given the rejection of many of the other beliefs of Augustine, I’m not sure how they cherry pick that one out.

      2. Eh, I dunno. Try talking to Tony and comparing to the words of Jesus or the Apostles, and you might see a bit of a difference.

    4. You incorrectly assume that American Fundamental Christianity does not also believe that might makes right.

      My uber fundie brother is always telling me that libertarianism is slavery because it does not allow for policing of “community standards” and that true freedom means having the ability to force your neighbors to live according to your beliefs.

      1. Haha, Sister Margaret Raymond used to triumphally say, “Free will isn’t so you can do what you want! It’s so you can do what you ought.” Catholic law, of course would decide what that “ought” was.

        1. Oh crumb, I thought there was something funny about the way I closed those itals.

      2. Ugh. I am so glad that my brother and I are largely in agreement on issues like this.

    5. Better to get it from rational philosophy than any of the above.

      1. What happens when you start from differing premises than another? Things get quite messy when two rational people start from mutually exclusive premises.

        1. You sort out moral differences axiomatically. Whether or not someone starts off from a different point of view has absolutely no bearing on the objective truth you’re trying to find.

          1. Right, but what happens when the truth you purport to uncover is not objective?

            Morality is squishy and highly dependent on premise. Even if you were able to carve away all of the moral baggage imparted on you as a matter of course, you still have to start somewhere. What is the purpose of morals? Do they reduce suffering? Do they promote growth? Do they promote self? Do they keep the human race viable?

            1. Right, but what happens when the truth you purport to uncover is not objective?

              How would truth not be objective, exactly?

              Morality is squishy and highly dependent on premise.

              Relativism alert.

              Even if you were able to carve away all of the moral baggage imparted on you as a matter of course, you still have to start somewhere. What is the purpose of morals?

              To socially regulate human interaction, a necessity for human survival.

              Do they reduce suffering? Do they reduce suffering? Do they promote growth? Do they promote self? Do they keep the human race viable?

              When the moral principles in question are rational, logically consistent and universally valid, yes, yes, yes, yes.

    6. Better to get it from rational philosophy than any of the above.

      1. Including what’s directly above?

        Couldn’t resist.

        1. You couldn’t resist claiming that progressivism or Christianity offer a rational philosophy? How often are you unable to resist making categorically untrue statements?

          1. omg

            It was a joke on the fact that you made the same post twice, you idiot. Before a couple of comments intervened, your second post therefore was a comment on your first as referring to “the above” and…. get it?

    7. Christianity has had lots of might makes right moments in history. We can and must do better than either.

  5. Meh. Jindal’s handlers probably fear that, with his name and appearance, primary voters might get the wrong impression (that he calls God by the name that starts with an “A”).

    Fear not. Jindal will never be president.

    1. At the rate the GOP is going neither will any other Republican. They’re dragging out another Bush, Huckabee wants to run again, so does Romney, and I halfway expect Santorum to run, too. Haven’t the fools learned anything from the last two elections? Not that I particularly give a shit about Republicans winning anything except as a foil to the Democrats.

  6. Don’t you want to be rewarded in the next life for your sacrifices in this one, Nick? Stop selfishly clutching your filthy lucre, when you could be contributing to the care and feeding of millions of children of hard working government bureaucrats.

  7. primary voters might get the wrong impression (that he calls God by the name that starts with an “A”).

    Kali does not begin with “A”.

  8. *Facepalm*

    Way to sound like a nutter, Bobby.

    1. Bobby, what was that you were just saying about being the stupid party?

  9. “The GOP is not only the party that fights for smaller government, lower taxes, school choice and energy independence, it’s the party that fights to protect “innocent human life and traditional marriage,” he said.

    hth

  10. 100% of all politicians pander.

  11. I don’t have the same apparent high esteem for Jindal’s record that you seem to, but this lack of esteem has nothing to do with his faith or lack thereof. The fact of the matter is, nothing quoted should be any cause for alarm. The government is completely bottomless in its lack of morality — that much is a shared belief among voters across the political spectrum. The economy is still a basketcase. Education and its products are simply execrable. Not all of us are William Graham Sumner: we don’t all find voluntary market to be an end to all other values. It is certainly not adequate replacement for the vibrancy and sense of community and family that the US and Europe somehow managed when they were more classically liberal (and more religious, I might add).

    None of these problems have government solutions. Many people who believe in God recognize this and appeal to Him in these circumstance that they themselves cannot resolve, in the understanding that there is nothing they can do but make the problem worse but with the hope that the problem can be resolved by an outside force greater and wiser than that of any human. This is a sort of epistemological humility which should be applauded rather than shunned: or must we really believe either that the government/disinterested collective action must resolve everything (almost never true), or that markets/action from interested parties always resolve social problems (not always true)?

  12. Making meaningless noise to appease Socon primary voters or actual policy proposals to go with this nonsense?

  13. As long as he’s not advocating for violating the NAP I could care less that what motivates him is religious. MLK invoked God in fighting segregation, for example.

    1. Amen. He could promote liberty by riding a noodly appendage for all I care. So long as he is pointed in the direction of liberty, I couldn’t care less what he worships.

  14. I have repeatedly stated that I have no problem with religion. People have every right to believe as they choose. BUT, this is where we part ways. Ruling a nation based upon teh feelz of a flying spaghetti monster is as irrational as a belief in unicorns and it crosses the line between believing in your faith and forcing your faith upon others.

    Fuck off Bobby.

    1. I missed the part where he wants to “rule” the nation based on his religious views.

      1. He said:

        “That’s where we are as a country,” he continued. “We have tried everything and now it is time to turn back to God.”

        in a political speech. What do you think he means?

        He’s running for a position that is NOTHING BUT the application of force and telling people they need to get back to god. He’s telling those people that, if elected, he will impose their will with the power they give him.

        At the least, he’s a lying politician out to buy votes. At the worst, he’s evil and means what he says.

  15. “The GOP is not only the party that fights for smaller government, lower taxes, school choice and energy independence, it’s the party that fights to protect “innocent human life and traditional marriage,” he said.

    If they gave even 1/20th the attention to the first part of the sentence that they do the last part, maybe the GOP wouldn’t be a garbage scow of a political party.

  16. This is more evidence of what a has been Huckabee is. Jindal is another real star among the SOCONs. Ultimately, Jindal needs to get out of politics and go into the ministry. I say that not because I think no one should ever mention God in politics. I say that because if Jindal thinks the solution to our problems is for people to turn to God, he should get out of politics because politics is never going to accomplish that goal.

    A lot of people would be better off if they turned to God. Proof of this is in the millions of examples of really troubled and self destructive people who have changed because they turned to God. Good for them and the people who helped them do that. But, politics and government is never going to do that. If Jindal really wants to bring people to God, he choose the wrong profession.

    1. Absolutely true. I’d prefer a practical atheist classical liberal to be in power than someone like Jindal (assuming sincerity in his remarks) for that very reason.

      OTOH, I’d rather have someone with that kind of epistemological humility about human problems than someone who accepts no restraint on their actions in attempting to resolve those problems. The former accepts a certain order and limitation to their action (and morality contingent on same), while the latter would relegate their fellow human beings to obsolescence in order to achieve their utopia.

      1. What annoys me about Jindal the most here is that he doesn’t take his own words seriously. He is either lying and doesn’t think that turning to God is the solution for people or his is completely ignorant of the implications of his own position such that he thinks the way to do that is through government. Either way, it makes him unfit for higher office.

        1. It’s a very Catholic view. I dunno if he’s Catholic, but his quote has the whole government/church as “intermediary to God” feel to it.

          1. RTFA

            Jindal’s parents are Hindu, but he converted to Catholicism…

    2. I’ve said this about Paul Ryan in his particular rationale for legalizing illegal aliens. Essentially: they’re needy. We need to rescue them.

      I wrote to him once and told him I seriously was not being a smartass, but he needed to quit politics and head up a charity to accomplish his objectives for Mexicans struggling in Mexico.

      1. Did you get any sort of reply?

        1. Hah.

      2. Reason #546 why Kim Jung Un has a better chance to be POUS than he.

      3. If we really wanted to help poor Mexicans we would stop turning corn into motor fuel so they could afford to eat.

  17. Throw up the tents, bitches, Bobby be gettin’ all brimfire up in this ‘Murica here!

    Sister Doreen sez she’ll vote for Bobby’s jesus-spoutin’ dome. All the purdy plump Christian chicks love them some John Wayne Jindal runnin’ on Jesus rockets and Momma Mary’s sweet blessin’s. Shit will get done and motherfuckers will be saved. Go Jindal! Gawd Bless me some ‘Murica!

  18. “The GOP is not only the party that fights for smaller government, lower taxes, school choice and energy independence, it’s the party that fights to protect “innocent human life and traditional marriage,” he said.

    Abortion is a government issue. If it is legal, you get more of it and if you think that life begins at conception, then the government legalizing murder is a big deal and a real political issue.

    Jindal manages to totally fuck up the marriage issue. Even if you think gay marriages should not be recognized by the government, the government doing that is not a threat to traditional marriage. That is absurd. It is a threat to people who don’t want to recognize the marriages and will now be forced to because the government tells them they must.

    Does Jindal think that straight couples are now going to divorce and go gay because of gay marriage? If there is a dumber way to frame objection to gay marriage, I am not aware of it.

    Jindal is by all accounts a good governor in a state that has perhaps never seen such in its entire history. He needs to stay where he is and continue to give the voters of Louisiana a governor who is not going to leave office on his way to federal prison.

    1. I’m guessing Jindal will end up in federal prison. It’s Louisiana. He’s corrupt.

      1. I don’t think so. I have seen nothing to indicate he is a crook. And he has managed to make Louisiana state government moderately competent or at least significantly less incompetent. That is an epic accomplishment. He is a very good governor and about as good as that state’s political system could expect to produce. He should stay where he is.

  19. What a f**king dick. Honestly, these people are not even worth talking about. We all know that are self serving, venal pieces of shit. What is there to talk about?

  20. This is so confusing. He’s talking about God, but he’s kind of dark-skinned and foreign-ey, so don’t we have to afford him some extra respect and wiggle-room when he talks about God? What does NPR say?

  21. Bobby doubles down on his desire not to be president.

    This is most excellent. You go Bobby!

  22. “That’s the message the country needs to hear: If the people start to humble themselves and look to God and pray, then God is going to start healing the land.”

    Well Bobby, exactly how will God do that? Show up with a flaming sword in the sky over Washington and smite the various inhabitants? We can only hope, but that is doubtful to occur. If God heals the land it will because people though God choose to heel it themselves. So really from our end, it looks the same whether God is involved or not, people solve their own problems and the society fixes itself without the help of government.

    This is another example of how Jindal could make a good point but manages to make an idiotic one instead. The proper way to make that point is that the government is not God and never will be. The government isn’t going to solve our problems. We have to solve our problems ourselves. And the more we look to the secular God of government to do it, the worse off we are. If Jindal wants to talk about God, then throw in a line about how government gets in the way of people figuring out their lives and the truth. The point should not be “we are going to use government to bring everyone to God”. It should be we are going to stop using government to solve every problem and keep it from preventing people from choosing God on their own.

    1. then God is going to start healing the land

      Maybe Jindal has gotten deep into Arthurian legend. “The health of the King is the health of the land; if God favors the King then he will favor the country.”

      1. The other thing is the conceit on his part that God wants to heal the land. You want to hear a good use of God in a speech, read Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address sometime. In it he says,

        Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”

        Who the hell is Jindal to claim to know the mind or the plan of God? Maybe America as we know it has outlived its usefulness to God’s plan and God has no intention of ever healing it no matter how hard we pray and want it to happen?

        1. Who the hell is Jindal to claim to know the mind or the plan of God?

          Heh, Jindal is doing some pretty fancy negotiatin’ on God’s behalf. I’d like to ask him how he knows God’s going to back up those guarantees.

          Aside — Meanwhile, God won’t even so much as guarantee you perfect happiness for all eternity if you do everything his way. For instance, you could die young, before you can properly raise your little innocent kids. They could go astray and earn themselves eternity in hell. How are you supposed to be happy in heaven knowing your kids are in hell? I for one couldn’t be happy in heaven knowing that a perfect stranger was in hell. I’d rather they were rehabbed than subjected to the kind of punishment that could only result in insanity, not enlightenment.

          1. Whatever happened to Carlton Pearson? He was a black preacher in Oklahoma that said that even hell was only temporary, and that any soul condemned to be punished there would eventually, maybe after trillions of years, be able to leave. I kinda like that idea.

            1. It depends. Is hell a “no smoking” zone?

      2. I dislike bullshit feel good simplifications of religion more than I dislike honest rejections of it. In many ways Jindal, though his ignorance and conceit, is insulting Christianity just as much as the most militant atheist. He is reducing the fundamental questions of life and the universe and the very serious and not always comforting answers Christianity gives to those questions to some kind of mail order “pray now and you get an extra miracle for just a small handling fee” side show.

        1. “If you call within the next ten minutes, we’ll even give you a second miracle FOR FREE.”

          You are giving some good rant today, John.

          1. You think I can rant about atheists, I am worse on Christians. They just drive me up the wall. Not all of them, but most of them. In a different age, I would have been burned at the stake long ago.

            1. Absolutely. The colossal ignorance of atheist assholes like Dawkins regarding Christianity is somewhat understandable given that it is not their belief. It is completely ridiculous coming from people who claim Christianity. Somehow Christians manage to be even more ignorant of their own beliefs and the implications of such than your average Dawkins type; it would not surprise me to find that the state of knowledge and reflection of modern Christianity is worse than that of your average Russian peasant under the Tsardom.

              1. The colossal ignorance of atheist assholes like Dawkins regarding Christianity is somewhat understandable given that it is not their belief. It is completely ridiculous coming from people who claim Christianity.

                My wife makes this argument often, and I tend to agree with her. If they actually followed the religion they claim to be part of, instead of injecting their own bullshit, they’d be far less intrusive upon others.

                1. Christianity is just genuinely bizarre, if you look at its early history. It is not respectable and it certainly is not conventional. FFS, it’s basically a pro-celibacy death cult that thinks a Jew on a stick has some bearing on their afterlife and current status in life, and that anyone who believes the same is their brother or sister — kind of strange. However, it is also not violent. One of my favorite quotes from a Syriac Christian writing in the 2nd century about distinctions between Christians and the surrounding societies — and if anyone knew that being a good Christian was no guarantee of a conventionally charmed life, it was a 2nd-century Christian:

                  We are Christians by the one name of the Messiah. As regards our customs our brethren abstain from everything that is contrary to their profession…. Parthian Christians do not take two wives…. Our Bactrian sisters do not practice promiscuity with strangers. Persians do not take their daughters to wife. Medes do not desert their dying relations or bury them alive. Christians in Edessa do not kill their wives or sisters who commit fornication but keep them apart and commit them to the judgement of God. Christians in Hatra do not stone thieves.

                  1. It is totally bizzare Trouser. That is what makes it compelling and what makes the claims that it was all made up ring so hollow. No one who was making up a religion would ever have made up Christianity. And no one who was re-wrting history would have ever produced the four Gospels. The Gospels are so strange as to be beyond human capacity for forgery. They contain all sorts of characters who appear momentarily only to disappear without really showing their purpose for being there. They contain stories like the wedding at Canae that do nothing to further the point or the narrative but are there none the less and wouldn’t be there if you were making up a story about a martyred messiah.

                    More fundamentally, the actual claim of Christianity, that God is three things at once “spirit, man, and God” is totally different than any other religion. Don’t buy the “it just like this or that Pagan cult” BS. No it is not. It is much weirder and more inexplicable than that.

                    1. I think human beings are entirely capable of writing weird stories full of plot holes, flat characters and characters and plot devices of no explicit purpose at all. I don’t think writing shit fiction is the province of a divine intellect, the opposite is more likely.

                    2. Yeah. It is totally possible to create a bizarre, incomprehensible story if you combine multiple stories. It would be like if you combined Blazing Saddles, The Godfather, Star Wars, Tora! Tora! Tora!, Die Hard, and Animal House into one movie.

                    3. Yeah, there is some weird ass shit like women covering their heads while praying so that they don’t piss off the angels. It’s stuff like that which makes me reflect on the state of modern Christianity. The Bible is very quirky, and therefore followers of the Bible should inherit some of that quirkiness. Some do, but most just blend into this agnostic world of ours.

          2. “And I’ll even throw in a St. Claire of Assisi rookie card! GEM MINT TEN! BE DIALING, people!”

    2. This is another example of how Jindal could make a good point but manages to make an idiotic one instead.

      Except Jindal didn’t say it. A Penecostal preacher did.

  23. I get it that Jindal is talking to a bunch of evangelicals and they want to hear about God and government. But you can give them what they want while still making the message about small government and without it coming off as offensively stupid to anyone who is not an evangelical. Jindal seems to be another example of only stupid people get Rhodes Scholarships these days.

    1. Jindal is far from stupid. He’s just cultivating evangelicals like he has always done. He wasn’t talking to you or me, regardless of the power to internet. He has to try and get people who don’t think like Nick to vote for him too.

      It would be a whole other thing if when trying to fix Louisiana’s public schools he had tried to make teachers pass some Christianity test before being hired. He didn’t and he’s not some puritanical freak like many on the progressive left are.

  24. FWIW, I would rather live in a culturally atheist country (whatever that might look like) which nonetheless did not compel me to believe and act as they do, than the current status quo. Secularism-as-policy might possibly be a good idea, but secularism-as-belief is absolutely ludicrous; no one with any sense sincerely subscribes to its tenets. No one thinks that all religions are equal; none truly think that belief is equivalent to non-belief; you’d have to be a damn fool to accept an amorphous pastiche of superstition as superior to either the sophistication of an Aquinas or the erudition and wit of a Voltaire. Of all the world religions secularism is most apparently absurd, and is all the more galling for being the only religion that is still mandated in Western governments.

    Whether atheist or Christian or Buddhist, the only religion one can get into serious trouble for critiquing is the one which claims that all religions are equal. The only altar that government will protect from desecration, and whose preachers will be paid from government purse, is the one which declares it sacrilege to attempt a substantive critique of any metaphysical system held by enough people.

    Far better an atheist or Muslim or Hindu or Buddhist country, than a secular one.

    1. Jindal is saying we all need to be humble, which is true. Yet, at the same time he is claiming to know how we can heal the country. And worse, still he is claiming that God will heel it just because we want him to. Ah, no. God gives us what he wants us to have not what we want. More importantly, God is concerned with the entire universe and all of eternity. What the hell is the state of America today compared to that?

      You can heel yourself if you choose to do so. But doing that doesn’t guarantee you prosperity or good fortune on this earth. The whole country could become good, hard working God fearing Christians tomorrow and that would be a great thing for them. It would not however protect the country from misfortune or do anything to ensure its future.

      1. Yet, at the same time he is claiming to know how we can heal the country.

        I must have missed that part. Would not surprise me to hear it, despite the sentiment contradicting the entirety of the Old Testament and New RE: the only God-ordained polity in record. It is a poor testimony that something as fundamentally silly as secularism is the dominant view, and is probably explained at least in part by the incredible atrophy of western Christianity. At this point I am almost hoping for a genuinely atheist government to end the kabuki show between shallow Christianity and secularism.

        1. He is claiming that the country turning to God will heel the country. So, he is claiming to know how to do it, get everyone to turn to God. And that is nonsense. Doing that would do a lot to heel the individuals who do it, assuming they actually do it and don’t just use “God” as a name for something else. But it wouldn’t heel the country or guarantee it to survive as we know it. As Lincoln was smart enough to know and Jindal apparently isn’t, God may not want the country to survive.

          1. He is claiming that the country turning to God will heel the country. So, he is claiming to know how to do it, get everyone to turn to God. And that is nonsense

            Healing the country may not be so much what he has in mind as bringing it and the people to heel. Getting them to turn to God might be his idea of doing that.

            As you can see, spelling has consequences, John. 🙂

    2. That may be the most thought-provoking point I read all day. Thank you.

    3. “Far better an atheist or Muslim or Hindu or Buddhist country, than a secular one.”

      Um, no, I’m not gonna include Muslim countries in that list. Any country that embeds Sharia law in their constitution or bans alcohol/drugs/premarital sex/etc. and sentences all violators to death or brutal corporal punishment is in NO FUCKING WAY better than a secular country.

      1. Um, no, I’m not gonna include Muslim countries in that list. Any country that embeds Sharia law in their constitution or bans alcohol/drugs/premarital sex/etc. and sentences all violators to death or brutal corporal punishment is in NO FUCKING WAY better than a secular country.

        Hindus may not get as much bad press as Muslims, but that belief system is pretty ugly in it’s own right.

  25. I’m a Catholic and religion is very important to me as an individual, but also being a libertarian causes me to almost never bring up religion when discussing politics.

    Jesus’s devotion to social justice was an example for people to follow as individuals and groups out of their free choice. One of the big mistakes many Catholics make is that they get confused and demand that governments implement social justice by force. Very similarly, fundamentalist protestants get confused by Jesus’s teaching on morality and sometimes demand the governments implement it by force.

    All that said, I doubt Jindal would actually try to implement Christian morality by force. He’s just using soothing words to make an audience like him. He probably thinks society would be healthier if more people turned to god. I also think society would be better if more people had a Christian outlook. But that has nothing to do with government.

    1. Very similarly, fundamentalist protestants get confused by Jesus’s teaching on morality and sometimes demand the governments implement it by force.

      FTFY

      From,
      A protestant who’s married to a Catholic.

      1. mad.casual, you are 100% correct. I almost didn’t put that in there, but I liked the symmetry of mentioning both Catholics and protestants. I do believe that moralistic fundies are more prevalent among protestants. But of course they exist in all flavors of religion.

        I’ve seen the different outlooks personally. I was raised in a pretty fundie Lutheran denomination, married a Catholic girl and finally converted to Catholic 18 years later. I’m happy about it all.

      2. True, many protestants are fundamentalist; but while they are wrong, it’s an individual choice. Most fundamentalists in the world only mess up their own lives and the lives of their children.

        Catholics, on the other hand, indeed aren’t fundamentalist, they are simply followers of a corrupt and totalitarian institution. Such institutions are driven by power and money, rather than ideology and spirituality.

      3. I’ve been doing some reading on doctrinal differences and church history in the past weeks, and it shines a huge light on why cultural Christians are obsessed with theocracy. The heresies defeated at the council of nicea, the Council of Trent, and during the reformation are still alive and well.

        It all boils down to the question of the salvation. Our secular culture is infused with sacramentalism from top to bottom,and it has resurrected in protestant churches the exact beliefs that caused Luther to split from the Catholic Church. If socon protestants truly believed in salvation by grace, through faith, their politics would reflect the Madisonian Remonstrance much more than Rauschenbusch’s Social Gospel.

    2. Your view of Christianity as a guide to individual moral behavior, as opposed to imposition by government, is laudable. You might pass for a protestant, but your views contradict Catholicism.

      As a Catholic, you accept the divinely granted and divinely guided authority of the Roman Catholic church, and that church has a two thousand year history of using force to impose its policies and views on others.

      1. No, my views do not contradict Catholicism. The modern Catholic church claims no secular power, and has no policy nor doctrine of applying force a la the police power of the state.

        In the often ugly history of the Catholic church, there are many examples of the use of force by the church. It incorrectly acted like a state. This is acknowledged by modern Catholics.

        Your constant bringing up of long ago history is just like progressives who say that nothing the founding fathers did or said is good because they owned slaves.

        1. This is what turns people off to organized religion. What about Catholicism is perfect and divine? Only God. The whole church structure is no better than any other human institution. Maybe PETA is in its heretic-burning stage right now, and one day will get over itself and simply exhort individuals to treat animals kindly.

          1. Faceless, I would love to discuss these issues with you in detail, but this not the time nor place to do it.

            The point I assume we agree on is that no organized religion should possess the police power of the state. The modern Catholic church does not possess nor claim to possess this power.

            1. It doesn’t possess it in the US because in the US, people have, so far, been smarter than to give it that power. But that’s unusual. In other countries, the Catholic church has huge amounts of political power and influence. That’s what we need to keep from happening in the US, and that’s why people like Jindal should be sharply condemned.

        2. In the often ugly history of the Catholic church, there are many examples of the use of force by the church. It incorrectly acted like a state. This is acknowledged by modern Catholics.

          Protestants can get away with that because protestant priests and churches don’t claim any special divine authority or guidance. But the Catholic church claims that it has been divinely guided since Christ, that its priests have special divinely granted powers (e.g., sacerdotalism). When such an organization participates in torture or genocide, “we were wrong” doesn’t cut it, because it calls into question the very basis of the Church’s claim to authority.

          Furthermore, I don’t know what modern Catholics you are talking about. The Catholic church in Germany, for example, still blames the rise of Nazis on atheists rather than taking responsibility for its pivotal role in it.

        3. Your constant bringing up of long ago history

          It’s not “long ago history” for me. My family was scattered all over Europe by the wars of reformation, my parents suffered through the Nazi era, and the Catholic church to this day imposes its will on the politics of numerous European nations.

          And while, as a libertarian, I do not want Catholicism banned. But when conservative Catholic politicians advocate a stronger role for Christianity in public life, I certainly believe it is appropriate to remind people of the bloodshed and evil that has followed when conservative Catholic politicians did the same thing in Europe in the past.

  26. Jindal supporter:

    That’s the message the country needs to hear: If the people start to humble themselves and look to God and pray, then God is going to start healing the land.

    God is like Santa – if you’re good little boys and girls then you get the stuff you want.

    Gillespie:

    Unless you simply cannot countenance the political equality of gays and lesbians.

    Yes, because I can totally sue someone for refusing to bake a cake for my heterosexual wedding ceremony. Totally equal.

    1. Nick is a single issue open borders and gay marriage voter. He seems to view those two issues as being more important than anything else.

    2. Yes, because I can totally sue someone for refusing to bake a cake for my heterosexual wedding ceremony. Totally equal.

      The fact that progressives have made a mockery of equality by twisting equality before the law into equality of outcome doesn’t mean that equality before the law hasn’t been an important goal. We have largely achieved that now, but Christian conservatives have been fighting equality before the law all the way.

      1. You’re right. Results don’t matter, only intentions! Hallelujah, I’ve seen the light!

        /sarc

        You sound like a prog. Too emotionally invested in an issue to see it rationally. I’m a member of the Church of Satan and don’t get all worked up about this, as you demonstrate in your post about a bleeding Jesus statue.

        Lots of Christians have fought for equality before the law in various times of this country’s past, particularly dealing with the institution of chattel slavery, so pardon me if I dismiss your attempt to make it sound as if they are, on the whole, opposed to liberty.

        1. You’re right. Results don’t matter, only intentions! Hallelujah, I’ve seen the light! You sound like a prog.

          In fact, neither results nor intentions matter. What matters is individual liberty and choice.

          Lots of Christians have fought for equality before the law in various times of this country’s past,

          Yes, the US has done quite well by making religion a private affair and keeping churches out of government.

          In Europe, where churches did get involved in government policy, it was entirely different: almost all the horrible things that happened in Europe, including WWII, were committed by Christians and usually with the support of Christian churches.

          Too emotionally invested in an issue to see it rationally.

          You bet I’m emotionally invested. My family was scattered all over Europe and the rest of the world by religious conflicts in Europe, and I grew up in a country in which Christianity has been an integral part of government for centuries and the results were extremely bloody.

          1. almost all the horrible things that happened in Europe, including WWII, were committed by Christians and usually with the support of Christian churches.

            From its inception up through the Enlightenment, the church cut a pretty good path of devastation through Europe, but WWII had literally nothing to do with the church and earned nothing but its repeated condemnation, from both popes Pius as well as bishops and leadership in the affected countries. You’re into “not even wrong” territory here.

            1. What I said is absolutely true: almost all the horrible things that happened in WWII were committed by Christians, for the simple reason that almost all Germans were actually Christians; they weren’t just Christian in name, they were registered, dues-paying members of Christian churches. Germans keep detailed public records about that sort of thing.

              Furthermore, support from the Catholic church was instrumental in bringing Hitler to power and the Catholic church made financially quite beneficial deals with the Nazi regime. And the German protestants were even worse because they were largely simply transformed into the Nazi state church. And the roots of all this can be traced back to the German Kulturkampf.

              To claim that WWII “had nothing to do with the church” is profoundly ignorant.

  27. What’s next? The fed determines monetary policy by whether the Jesus statue bleeds, we get economic recovery by praying divine intervention, and the legislative process gets replaced by edicts from the Pope?

    Well, I suppose at least the Catholic church will be right at home with spreading its message through the sword, torturing people, and lying through their teeth and feeling morally justified about it; after all, they have been doing it for 2000 years. And to its credit, as far as corrupt, totalitarian, child molesting organizations go, they are far from the worst.

    The real threat with Catholic government is that they are prone to making deals with totalitarians as long as they get money and/or political influence out of it. The Catholic party, after all, cast the deciding votes to put Hitler into power in 1933, and was rewarded richly with money and power.

    1. This foaming at the mouth vitriol makes me think of the “discussions” I’ve had with progressives.

      1. What are you implying? That one shouldn’t get angry about an organization that has made deals with Hitler, persecuted millions, and committed torture and mass murder? Or what?

        1. Of course one should be angry about past atrocities.

          But it is wrong to only focus on past evils and bring them forward to collectively judge and organization which has left most of those evils behind. It appears to me that you do not have any understanding of the current state of reality.

          It is arguing from bad faith to cherry-pick only those things which are damning and not consider anything else. The history of the church has a lot of good in it too.

          It is a logical error to judge past behaviors by current standards. Historical context is critically important to understand why and how people and organizations behaved.

          1. It is a logical error to judge past behaviors by current standards.

            Yes, it is. But even judging by past standards many of those behaviors were egregiously wrong.

    2. What’s next? The fed determines monetary policy by whether the Jesus statue bleeds,

      Could that produce any worse results than what we have? We currently determine health care policy under the assumption that giving people insurance and having more third parties pay for people’s medical care will reduce costs.

      Whatever you think of the Jesus statue idea, it couldn’t be anymore counter factual and stupid than most of what we do now. It might not make things better, but it couldn’t make them any worse.

    3. The Catholic party, after all, cast the deciding votes to put Hitler into power in 1933, and was rewarded richly with money and power.

      The Catholic party != the Catholic church, which had excommunicated all members of the Nazi party in Germany and forbid good standing Catholics from joining in 1931. 1933 wasn’t exactly a good year for Catholicism in Germany. The Reichskonkordat didn’t end up doing the church any favors. Most of the clergy barracks at Dachau were filled with Catholic priests and bishops.

      Christian anti-Semitism in Europe and the church’s neutrality policy during the war are varying shades of despicable, but the church didn’t so hot making deals with totalitarians, unless you count a lot of dead Catholics as a success.

      1. The Catholic party != the Catholic church,

        The Catholic party was headed by Prelate Kaas, a church official. It enjoyed widespread support among German Catholics and was deeply enmeshed with the Catholic church in Germany and the Vatican. And a few months later, the Vatican itself sat down at the negotiating table with the Nazis and worked out the Concordat.

        The Reichskonkordat didn’t end up doing the church any favors.

        Even if that were true, so what? The Reichskonkordat was a reprehensible deal between the Catholic church and the Nazis; whether the Nazis later reneged on the deal doesn’t change the morality and intent of making the deal. But, in fact, the Reichskonkordat did the Catholic church enormous favors: it gave it special rights, privileges, and financial support that survives to this day.

        . Most of the clergy barracks at Dachau were filled with Catholic priests and bishops.

        Yes, out of tens of thousands of Catholic German priests, there were a few hundred who actually had a conscience. Those obviously do not represent the Catholic church or its policies.

        Your attempt at whitewashing Catholic history is reprehensible, but it is also typical. Read some of the original source materials, like the speech Kaas and Hitler gave on the Enabling Act. Maybe that will open your eyes.

  28. I’d like to see the DNC Venn diagram and how it overlaps with the GOP one in this article.

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  31. Don’t be afraid of Christianity Nick. It is unbecoming. E pluribus unum baby!

  32. Martinez is NOT running for president. Where do you people get this crap? If she were smart she’d run for the Senate seat (which I believe is in 2016) because she can still stay Governor if she loses. Nobody would have a chance to beat Heinrich in NM. All the Republican candidates are doofuses.

    1. Which forum does that belong in? Never mind, because I want to talk about California’s Republican U.S. Senate nominee for 2016. Rob Lowe? Carl DeMaio? Some Sili Valley titan?

      1. Her name was in the venn diagram.

        In CA, count on abortion being 99% of the campaign.

  33. I wouldn’t be overly concerned. He’s simply trying to drive the point home to Christian conservative voters that he’s one of them, and not a pagan Hindu. I doubt he’s going to be making policy according to the Gospels. This is simply campaign strategy 101: define yourself before others do it for you.

    1. Thank you. I said the same thing when posters here like Bo got their knickers in a knot over Rand Paul speaking to various religious groups. It’s freaking politics.

    2. I doubt he’s going to be making policy according to the Gospels.

      I wish he would. Christ had very little to say about what he’d do (or have his followers do) if he would have been given control of the government. “My Kingdom is not of this world…”.

      For more on what God’s preferred method of government looked like, read the last verse in the book of Judges and 1 Samuel 8.

  34. He isn’t going to be president, and it doesn’t matter how hard he panders to the religious right.

  35. $89 an hour! Seriously I don’t know why more people haven’t tried this, I work two shifts, 2 hours in the day and 2 in the evening?And i get surly a chek of $1260……0 whats awesome is Im working from home so I get more time with my kids.
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  36. If we were to go back to God, as he put it. Then slavery, incest, and rape would all become legal. Stoning your neighbor for working on a Sunday would be the rule of law. Killing your children for disobeying you would be a weekend event for watching. All these are in the bible and legal in it too. That sure sounds a lot like Islamic shira(sp) law to me does it not? Typical Christians do not read their bible and think these are all rules that are not used anymore. Yet there is NO place in the bible that says you do not obey them. So unless you want to have this type of law enforce over you and your family, keep your damn religion out of Washington DC and the law of the land.

    1. It’s amazing how little you know of Christianity and yet you damn it. I’m all for keeping religion as far away from government as possible, but try to sound less ignorant while arguing the correct position, please.

      1. This.

  37. ***”The GOP is not only the party that fights for smaller government, lower taxes, school choice and energy independence, it’s the party that fights to protect “innocent human life and traditional marriage,” he said.***

    What exactly does “traditional marriage” need to be “protected” from?

    I’m in a pretty traditional marriage, I suppose, and yet I haven’t noticed it coming under attack from any insidious outside sources recently (though SoCon relatives and politicians assure me it’s happening). Anyone here had this experience?

    1. My traditional marriage has not been attacked by anything that I’m aware of.

      I get into this with my mainstream-conservative, mildly socon dad. He frets about the “war on Christians”. And I say, what war? He goes to a huge church. They have groups, trips, bible studies galore. I guess the front lines haven’t gotten to us yet.

      1. There is a war on Christians just like the anabaptists waged war on the Catholic Church. They merely dared to disagree.

  38. It is now and always has been a time to turn to god, libertarian or not. Christians were know as the people of freedom, because they are free of the law, just not their conscious. That has never meant the law was bad, it is good, it is a guide. You just don’t have to follow what is good for you. The laws in the bible produced the Jewish culture. It is over 3000 years old and going strong. They have not always followed their own rules, but those rules have been one of the most successful ways to run a society in human history. Christian rules have also been successful. Do not be quick to turn away from those rules.

    1. Do not be quick to turn away from those rules

      …of grammar and sentence construction.

  39. As an atheist, I don’t understand the difference between espousing policies based on belief in a Christian/Jewish/Muslim/Hindu/etc god, and espousing policies based on a belief in workshiping trees and animals(e.g., the environmental religion). Both end up in a bad place. The question is how to get all religion, both the traditional and the misanthropic enviro- versions, out of government. All government.

    1. A denier! Burn him!

      No, that would pollute the air.

      Compost him!

      1. In a muslim society, that would be the prescribed action for people like me. Christian and Jewish believers just have to pay the tax, but they can keep their lives. I think that the tree worshipers would get the axe, however.

        I find it interesting that the comment posting form here includes a box called “Submit”. Maybe it should say “Islam” on some days…

      2. No, don’t compost him… If you do, his carbon will eventually return to the Gaia-atmosphere, causing globabble warmerering… To do it right, wrap him in a few sheets of plastic, then concrete, and drop him on the ocean-floor, next to a subduction zone. Then his carbon will be sequestered for tens of millions of years…

    2. Government is the most popular, powerful, and evil religion there is.

      Also, most Christians ought to hold “religion” in contempt. Religion never really solved anything at all. Loving your Creator and his created people has solved many things.

      1. Which is why the blind rail against faith, confusing it with religion, a concept Christ himself exposed, mocked and warned us about.

      2. Amen, ace_m82! Well said!

  40. Unfortunately Mr. Jindal is caught up in Rome’s “cultist” version of following Christ (Catholisism), but I do believe like millions of Catholics he has a good heart. I respectfully disagree with your following assessment of Mr. Jindal’s comments:
    “What ails the government is not a deficit of religiosity but a nearly complete failure to deal with practical issues of spending versus revenue, creating a simple and fair tax system, reforming entitlements, and getting real about the limits of America’s ability to control every corner of the globe. God has nothing to do with any of that. The fault lies not in our stars but in policies.”
    The men and women in these positions of power who are juxtaposed by “We The People” are foolishly held to a fading and ever changing moral standard. The growing majority of those in power today are merely a product of a system moving away from a God-inspired narrative. The “complete failure to deal with practical issues” as you stated is simply a bi-product of a much deeper falling away (or outright rejection)of New Testament principles as a whole. Here in America it’s taken a few decades for what seems to be a brilliantly designed plan to implode this nation from within to come to some semblance of fruition. Now the loud whistle of the bullet train leading to a new “America” seems to be loading all willing to step aboard. We’re watching on a daily basis what it looks like to see a once great – but now divided nation take on water.

  41. The fallen spirit of man simply cannot police itself and needs a moral compass provided by the Holy Spirit (a free and exclusive gift to Christ’s true followers) to overcome and withstand it’s evil counterpart. Never before in the history of the world has evil had so many all-powerful tools to corrupt and consume the flesh of humanity. For example, the Bible calls Satan the “Prince of the air.” If this is indeed the case, all available input used in everything from education and governing to basic living and entertainment is therefore suspect and vulnerable. These so-called “leaders” and “public-servants” are unwitting and deceived puppets who increasingly appear unable to indentify a common good such as what was outlined by Jesus and New Testament principles. Free-will eventually succumbs to worldy temptations such as greed and corruption without Christ at the helm
    The bottom line is I believe the man was correct: No Jesus – No Hope;. The next couple decades will make this abundantly clear.

    1. The world is more peaceful than it has ever been, largely thanks to its increasing secularization. And you better hope your equation is wrong, as there probably was no Jesus.

      1. He’s a Jesus-denier. I’m quite sure he doesn’t see the irony here…

      2. You simply must expose your transparency whenever Christ is mentioned or suggested. Tony, you are the one here easiest to peg, unlike the sheeps lusting after some faux “intellect” to be part of the in crowd.
        If I’ve met you once in my life, I’ve met you hundreds of times, always the petulant pouting child, angry with God.

  42. No, it’s not time to “turn back to God,” especially when it comes to politics and public policy

    Actually, it’s completely true. Start with “Thou Shalt not Murder, Thou Shalt not Steal, and Thou Shalt not Covet” and you’d have the best governance of all time.

    Perhaps if any “Christian” (defined as someone who tries to follow what Christ taught) politician would read the book of Judges and then 1 Samuel 8 they would recognize that the government God wanted was one Judge who taxed no-one and it resulted in a land where “every man did as he thought was right”.

    Then again, logical consistency isn’t taught in the government schools…

  43. Speaking to a group of Christian and Jewish leaders in Iowa,

    Serious politicians praise God in front of the Southern Baptists and piss on the Bible when addressing atheists. That’s what a politicians does, and Jindal’s a good enough politician to say what he needs to say to marshal support. It’s gross, it’s dishonest, and it’s how every politician in a democratic environment must operate if he’s to be elected, and at this point Jindal is a veteran at producing the usual political pabulum.

  44. As Gillespie notes, this country is becoming more and more secular with time. It is at least becoming more diverse w/r/t systems of belief.
    Staunch non-believers like me are citizens, as are Muslims, Hindus, Bahai, Protestants, Catholics, Jews, etc.
    People whose campaign planks involve turning the country back to god have to explain to us non-Judeo-Christians why any policy, piece of legislation, or executive order that’s based on their faith rather than more universal precepts should be accepted by us. I don’t think that’s possible while still respecting the beliefs of all citizens. If a law or order can’t be justified without reference to some religion, it should be scrapped. If someone wanted to pass a law against theft, it might be OK to say “We need this law because it protects an individual’s right to property, and oh, by the way, one of the Ten Commandments says, “Thou shalt not steal.” But that last part would be irrelevant and unnecessary. The first part is sufficient.

    1. I don’t blame you for your point. That being said, he’s trying to pander to a certain group’s belief for his benefit… or there’s a chance it’s because he actually thinks it.

      If you asked me if I thought “we should turn back to God”, I’d say yes, that’s true. This can be taken as a comment on what government should do or a comment on what free humans should do. Either way, based on my extensive study of the Bible, I’d say it’s a good thing. As for what free humans should do, yes, we shouldn’t murder, steal, covet, etc. In fact, as “Christian” means “little Christ” (Christ follower), then all should live in service to others, and “do unto others”.

      As for what government should do, I enthusiastically support this idea. God’s governance was not constant, one person, a Judge who (as far as I can tell) only judged when someone claimed to be harmed (the last verse in the book of Judges is “every man did as he thought was right”). Again, in 1 Samuel 8 the people demanded “big government” (a King) so they could be moral and be like the other nations. God wasn’t a fan of them rejecting his government but allowed them to go their own way. This paved the way for their captivity.

      God wanted people’s hearts and minds, not their wrote obedience due to force. He allowed them their evil as long as they didn’t harm others (as sure as I can be that this is true). Human force is no way to salvation.

      1. ace_m82,

        If Christians, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, etc. think that turning back to their god will help them to be good citizens, as you seem to have, I’m for it. The Golden Rule is a useful guideline, and it transcends many, if not all religions.

        Personally, I think the Non-Aggression Principle and recognition and protection of negative rights will cover almost anything that a government needs to do, especially one founded on our Constitution. And no Libertarian will ever stop anyone from trying non-coercively to help others.

        Thanks for the reply.

        1. Thanks for the courtesy.

          The Golden Rule is a useful guideline, and it transcends many, if not all religions.

          Perhaps, but most ascribe only to NAP, don’t do bad things to others. Christ called us to do good to others as well. How great a land it would be if we were to listen!

          1. Unfortunately, the need to “do good to others” brings out all sorts of unpleasant behavior by people who think that the ignorant need to be re-educated, and everyone needs to behave a certain way, for the greater good of all.

            1. “Good” often means different things to different people. I’d appreciate it very much if a lot of people would stop doing what they perceive as “good” unto me and everyone else.

            2. I suppose they fail to recognize that it is their God who made us free, and that if he respects their freedom to sin, then it is the height of Pride to tell God that he was wrong to do so. In short, I don’t need to defend God from their actions.

              “Do unto others as you would have them do to you” is an extension of NAP, it doesn’t undermine it. There are far too many who see it as such.

  45. No one delusional enough to think Bobby Jindal will be president should be president.

  46. “We have tried everything and now it is time to turn back to God.”

    ha! I thought it said “Gold”.

  47. Cannabinoid medicine if fully implemented could save $1 trillion a year. Does Bobby count that cost of Prohibition?

  48. Fuckin’ social conservatves, man. They’re dragging any hope of fiscal conservatism to the sea floor like an anchor.

    I have a deep distrust of anyone who thinks that the short time we are alive is merely a stepping stone to the afterlife. Some sort of test. I’m talking about people who will let the country fall (further) into collectivism just as long as they can preach against gay marriage and abortion, so they receive their reward.

    What shitty choices we have.

  49. Oh well, he’s proven himself to be an utter fuckwit*, what’s new in American politics?

    The sad fact is, unless you appear to be appealing to an imaginary father figure in the sky, you can’t get elected, that’s the sad, sad truth in american politics.

    The vast majority of voters are also utter fuckwits*, and so it’s no surpise that nothing ever improves in regard to politics and the economy.

    * A person with very little practical knowledge, whom responds with kneejerk decision based upon fragile personal feelings, instead of reasoned, logical and educated conclusions.

    A stupid is as a stupid does.

  50. We tried theocracy in many places at many times all over the world. The result has usually been disaster.

    -jcr

  51. Yes, we must return to God. Only belief in an almighty, loving, just, vengeful, angry, peace loving, all powerful, all knowing God can bring our nation salvation. We must do the following( in no particular order)—-Stone to death anyone who takes the name of God in vain, Stone to death all homosexuals, kill an ox that gores a person and kill an owner of an ox that gores more than one person. Puncture the ear of a slave who wishes to remain a slave since his family will not be freed.

    Yes, let us return to the faith that gave us the inquisition, the crusades, locked up Galileo under house arrest for implying the sun revolved around the earth and the earth was not the center of the universe( Galileo was finally absolved of his heresy in the late 20th century–but hey, better late than never, right?).

    Yes, let’s return to superstition, myths and downright nonsense to lead this nation on a new course. I’m sure we’ll be a much better place to live if we just get on our knees and pray that death and eternal damnation be the future for our foes!

    p.s.–and fig trees better not piss off God by not providing Him with a snack even if they’re out of season for proving said snack. Death to fig trees that disobey the Lord!!

  52. “creating a simple and fair tax system”

    oxymoron. self destructing statement.

    nothing is fair about theft.

    -FFM

  53. There’s nothing inherently wrong with letting faith inform policy, anymore than emotion can inform policy. It has the potential to be dangerous if that faith is ill-informed, of course. But there’s a very libertarian concept at the core of the faith that Jindal espouses.

    It’s the concept that humans are inherently flawed, and therefore human systems are inherently flawed. As a result, we employ a system of checks, balances, and decentralization of authority to mitigate the potential harm that people may do to one another.

    We might contrast that concept with a progressive view that states people are inherently good, and if only we had the right policies in place, we could reach that full potential of goodness. That impulse can lead simultaneously to eugenics and the nanny-state. If you’ll notice, the left couches its intrusion into private lives in moral terms.

    Which one of these impulses Jindal follows needs to be explored, but I imagine he’s more the former than the latter.

  54. $89 an hour! Seriously I don’t know why more people haven’t tried this, I work two shifts, 2 hours in the day and 2 in the evening?And i get surly a chek of $1260……0 whats awesome is Im working from home so I get more time with my kids.
    Here is what i did
    ?????? http://www.paygazette.com

  55. If just the mention of God or godliness turns you off or is a deal breaker, make no mistake the problem is you.

    I’m not religious. But I’m also not an anti-Christian zealot.

    This argument would have disqualified most if not all of the Framers and Founders. Disqualifying the argument for serious consideration.

    1. I’m an anti-Prohibitionist zealot.

  56. As an Agnostic I respect many people of Faith that I encounter where I live; they fund food banks, inner-city missions that helps the homeless, help people with medical expenses, and don’t want Government Subsidies to help them in providing aid. With Sheckles comes Shackles they would say.
    Any Christian (Jew, or anyone else) who lives by the book of Proverbs I would vote for in a heartbeat as it would lead to a far smaller government with lower taxes and less abusive environment for the citizenry.
    If Jindal wants a “Return to God”, given how he had governed so far, I’m Libertarian Enough to let him advocate for it; though I disagree with him on this point, I might even champagne for him.

  57. I think that Jindal is correct in the sense that public and private corruption is out of control. So-called public servants enrich themselves off the taxpayers. People in all walks of life are more willing to cut corners or cheat to get ahead. I’d love to see Christian politicians talk less about their personal faith and more about the importance of honest and incorruptible people being elected to positions of trust.

    Some people have good morals without religion, but most people could well do with being held accountable to higher authority, especially since most Americans profess that they believe in God.

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