Religion

The Left is All About Religion Influencing Public Policy—When It's For Bigger Government

Religion scizophrenia

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Based on recent events, the emerging progressive consensus seems to hold that religious beliefs should be forbidden in the public square, except in those cases where they should be mandatory.

It has been a couple of weeks since Pope Francis released his encyclical about the environment, and liberals are just now recovering from their collective swoon. The organs of the left lavished it with praise, calling it everything from "authoritative" and "compelling" (The New York Times) to "powerful" and "revolutionary" (Salon). Humanity has sinned against the planet, they agree, and must take urgent, collective action to repair the damage.

Liberals took a decidedly less deferential tone when the craft-store chain Hobby Lobby sought a religious exemption from Obamacare's contraception mandate.

Corporations can't have religious beliefs, they said (ignoring the fact that thousands of incorporated entities, known as churches, clearly do). Even more emphatically, they insisted Hobby Lobby's owners wanted "to impose their religious views on employees" (The New York Times again, echoing countless others). This was histrionic nonsense, given that employees remained perfectly free to buy contraception on their own.

Moreover, progressives insisted that the owners of Hobby Lobby faced no burden on their faith because they could still worship as they chose when they went to church. That also is the argument regarding religious objections to gay marriage: Individuals who disapprove may do so within the four walls of their church, but they should not be allowed to act on their convictions outside church by, say, declining to bake a cake for a gay wedding.

A few have even suggested churches that oppose gay marriage should lose their tax-exempt status: "We'll let you practice your bigotry, at least within the confines of your own church," went a piece in Fusion. "But we're not about to reward you for doing so." Even the ACLU has dropped its support for the Religious Freedom Restoration Act because while "religious freedom needs protection," it should not be used "to impose one's views on others."

This is a pretty broad definition of "imposing." By similar reasoning, one might argue that a Christian bookstore is imposing its views if it prefers not to carry Playboy and Penthouse. (After all, the baker is not refusing to serve gay customers outright. She is refusing only to provide a certain message on a cake.)

But if we're going to accept that broad definition of "imposing," then we should not be taking orders about environmental policy from the pope. To be consistent, progressives should have responded to his encyclical by lecturing Catholics that religious arguments for environmental stewardship are fine in church, but not as a basis for public policy.

To be fair, let's also note that conservatives who applaud Roman Catholic teaching about homosexuality can hardly turn around and denounce the pope's views on the environment. If you accept the pope's authority in one realm, then you accept it in the rest — because the authority all derives from the same source.

Of course, Catholics aren't the only ones injecting religion into the public sphere.

A story last week in The Times-Dispatch reported on a meeting at the Jewish Community Center in Richmond, where a group of faith leaders had gathered "to press the case that the provision of health care for all Americans is a moral imperative."

Rabbi Gary Creditor stressed the importance of loving your neighbor as yourself. "In Judaism things can be either an option or an obligation," he said. "When we talk about the gap in medical coverage … it's not an option for society from a religious perspective to debate the question. It's an obligation upon society to fulfill it."

The Rev. Sidnee Dallas said Baptists believe the same: "God wants us to love and protect" everybody. Abu Qutubuddin of the Islamic Center of Virginia drew attention to the Islamic belief that health is a blessing from God. The Catholic Diocese's Emmanuel Carreno Garcia said Catholics "are called to respond to the needs of others."

No doubt they are. But where are they called upon to use the coercive power of the state to make non-Catholics join them? How do the individual religious obligations of Jews and Muslims translate into a collective duty for everybody else? Few religious leaders seem eager to answer that question.

If a Christian violates the boundary separating religion from secular society simply by passively declining to bake a cake, then surely she must trespass even further beyond it by insisting other people actively participate in her religious duty to help the poor (or save the planet). Yet progressivism condemns her in the first instance, and cheers her in the second.

That seems logically untenable. But from one angle, it looks perfectly consistent: Religious arguments receive approval when they support policies that restrict individual freedom. When it comes to the glory of big government, the left's faith is unshakable.

This column originally appeared at the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

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      1. “Goofballs, everybody!”

  1. I presume that the author (and everybody else) understands that expecting principled consistency from progs is an exercise in futility.

    1. I’m sure he does, as we all do. But it needs to be pointed out anyways.

      1. Someone on here made a great point that I have been using to great effect with Progs:

        If prostitution were legal, and being legal it were a business, should a sex worker have to sleep with a person of a different race if they didn’t want to? How about someone of the same sex?

        Usually you get an Archeresque “Meep”, before they stutter out “B..b…b..but that is different.”

        1. I like that. A lot.

          And what difference does it make if its a legal business, anyway? Wouldn’t discriminating while conducting a criminal enterprise just be a hate crime?

          1. Because the prog mind can’t comprehend that something can be a business without the government’s okay, and they cannot make the connection to their policies without said enterprise being a business without you walking them through it and wasting your time.

            But I do agree, it doesn’t make a difference logically, but you have to remember who you are speaking to.

            1. Sorry for the grammar.

        2. I agree.. this is good.

          Simplify it to: Gay escorts MUST provide services to the opposite sex or be sued.

          1. If i wanna get an abortion, no clinic can turn me away just because i’m a dude!

            1. Don’t you oppress me!

        3. Genius.

  2. The progressive agenda is the goal…anything and everything else is just a means to that end. Alinksy tells us that any means is a good means.

  3. What’s the pope’s opinion on mandatory vaccinations? Is he fir it or agin it?

  4. OMG I’m on a training call for some process improvements being rolled out on this invoicing system, and 45 min. into it, not a single one of these “improvements” has applied to me. Every time the guy starts a new segment, he says, “Now this may not apply to everyone on the call, but if you happen to be submitting insurance reimbursement claims to FNMA, then you’ll be really excited about…”

  5. It has been a couple of weeks since Pope Francis released his encyclical about the environment, and liberals are just now recovering from their collective swoon.

    His encyclical was very disapproving of abortion. The left totally ignored that.

  6. This was histrionic nonsense, given that employees remained perfectly free to buy contraception on their own.

    Not giving is taking. By not giving contraception to the employees, they were actively taking it away. Hasn’t Tony taught us anything?

    1. Just as keeping more of your own money through tax breaks and loopholes means taking money from the government and therefore poor starving minorities.

  7. Don’t bother your pretty little heads with concerns of whether we’re destroying the environment. What matters is that progressives are hypocrites. That is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

    1. Circular logic is circular.

    2. Tony, it’s your cult that’s destroying the environment. Your stupid little superstitious millenial cult.

      Stop projecting.

      1. A compelling argument if you posit that burning fossil fuels (or fracing itself) are harmless to the environment.

        1. Tony, whenever you see a bunch of windmills producing power, there is a fossil fueled power plant conditioning the uncontrolled power the windmills produce.

          Often the power plant is burning about 40% of the fuel it would be burning if they turned off the windmills and just used the the fossil fuel plant.

          So, even if you believe that fossil fuels are bad for the environment, the use of windmills is nothing more than a superstitious exercise that damages the environment in the name of saving it.

          1. Fuck windmills. Still, 40% is better than 100%, no?

            We’re way past windmills as the solution to this problem. But you like that just fine right? The longer we wait, the larger the policy response we will need, and the more you guys get to engage in your favorite pastime: whining about how big government is cutting into the profits of Exxon, er, I mean destroying your freedom.

            1. If a “solution” was found to the “problem” of “climate change” that did not involve tearing down capitalism and replacing it with total government, would it be acceptable?

              Didn’t think so.

              Which shows that true goal here is not to mitigate climate change, but rather to destroy capitalism.

            2. The longer we wait, the larger the policy response we will need,

              Actually Tony, only if you accept Lord Deben’s insane economic projections. In the future, humanity will be much wealthier, and thus better positioned to mitigate the problems which now the IPCC’s scientists admit are 100+ years away.

              Your superstitious fears are causing you to hurt people in the present.

              Uneccesaily I might ad, since the IPCC guys are thumbing the scale and it appears we are headed for conditions like the Medeival Warm Period or the Roman Warm Period, which would require no mitigation at all (other than me and my fiance starting that winery she keeps banging on about in cheap New Hampshire rather than expensive California when we retire)

              and the more you guys get to engage in your favorite pastime: whining about how big government is cutting into the profits of Exxon, er, I mean destroying your freedom.

              Actually, when you cut into the profits of Exxon, you also murder black Africans tony.

              But since they’re only niggers, who lack even the saving grace of voting Democratic, fuck ’em right?

              1. If we go into Medieval Optimum conditions, Greenland m might be a tantalizing option to start Libertopia in…

                1. Greenland m might be a tantalizing option to start Libertopia in…

                  Too many natural resources that existing governments would kill to tax.

                  1. All we need is 50k people to overwhelm the existing population. From there we can push for more self governance from Denmark (the natives would even support us).

                    The island ditched the EU 30 years ago, so we’re good on that front.

                    1. From there we can push for more self governance from Denmark (the natives would even support us).

                      I think the Greenland Inuit would also support the autonomy a libertarian government would entail.

                  2. Too many natural resources that existing governments would kill to tax and tax to kill (elsewhere).

              2. In the future, humanity will be much wealthier, and thus better positioned to mitigate the problems which now the IPCC’s scientists admit are 100+ years away.

                The IPCC also says that the future with the greatest economic growth is also the future with the least warming.

          2. It’s worse than that because the plant is also depreciating faster with the enhaced cycling. Or it’s running at close to 100% and just wasting fuel.

            If the greentards were serious about the boogeyman of a trace gas essential for the survival of life on this planet, then they would be demanding more fission thermal plants. The fact that they focus on rainbows and unicorns tells you how serious they are.

            1. The fact that you guys constantly pull the nuclear card, as if there is any liberal who wouldn’t prefer it to carbon, or as if nuclear is even possible in a laissez-faire economy, says you’re definitely not serious, but nobody was under any illusion otherwise.

        2. Wow. Two fallacies at once: Begging the question and switching the burden of proof. You truly are the Fallacy Master.

          1. Switching the burden of proof indeed.

            The burden always lies with those making the affirmative condition claim. The negative prevails unless those claiming the affirmative can do so with unequivocal and absolute definitiveness.

            The AGW theory proponents haven’t come anywhere close to proving their claim with unequivocal and absolute definitiveness, so no one is required to hand them a “gimme” in any discussion about it.

    3. Seems like the earth actually likes more carbon in the atmosphere. Some estimates put CO2 levels at 5 times their current levels during the Jurassic Period. You know, that period when megafuana roamed the earth because the earth had such an abundance of vegetation?

      But yeah, let’s go with your idea Tony, where we induce world-wide poverty by taxing the shit out of the life-blood of the economy.

      At least your Top Men will still live like Kings, you can just keep on living vicariously through them.

      1. Blah blah blah.

        If I claim that dumping all my garbage on your lawn is, in the long run, neutral or good for the overall environment, does that make it OK?

        If Shell Oil deliberately set a million babies on fire, would you still be defending their every action as a result of pure rightwing BS brain pickling?

        1. Double false-equivalence! The Fallacy Master is on a roll!

        2. There goes Tony moving the goal posts again!

          You are a fucking once-in-a-lifetime dipshit.

          How do you justify your existence Tony? I cannot imagine being as stupid and immoral as you are.

          1. Think of someone who, without even being compensated, defends the destruction of the planetary environment because he’s too fucking stupid not to be suckered in by oil industry propaganda masquerading as some fat Fox News fuckhead’s thoughts. That is immorality of maximum caliber, by way of stupidity.

            1. And THAT is a strawman, and utterly irrelevant to what anyone here is saying.

              1. Without fallacies, Tony would have no arguments.

                1. Technically, he still doesn’t.

                  Keep in mind, this is a guy who really believes that, absent laws against murder, parents would be killing their children just constantly. He’s not even on speaking terms with the concept of morality.

            2. Here is the thing Tony.

              Your idea: World economy definitely ruined, mass poverty, probably famine, human progress set back hundreds (more) years.

              My idea: 4 billion years of history backing up that the earth is not going to self destruct if we use fossil fuels.

              1. Those claims you just pulled out of your ass with absolutely no scientific justification sure would be convenient for you if they reflected reality in any coherent way.

                1. What does the economy run on, Tony?

                  Hopes and dreams? Fairy dust? What has been the driver of human progress over the last few centuries? What has pulled humanity out of perpetual poverty?

                  You’re so fucking stupid it is sickening.

                  1. What does the economy run on, Tony?

                    Government! Duh! Government is god!

                    /if Tony was honest

                  2. It is a rather psychopathic argument to say that we should be permitted to maintain our western lifestyle while the pollution it causes harms mostly people who’ve never experienced such a lifestyle. You’re not talking about all of humanity, right? Just those of us lucky enough to be born in the right places.

                    That gravy train is not infinitely long, of course, and even we will pay for our unwillingness to innovate beyond burning dead dinosaurs for fuel. As many scientists have noted, that is not a technical impossibility, only a political hurdle to overcome–the politics being driven by the extreme wealth that the dinosaur burning companies have at their disposal. The thing you’re defending to the death.

                    1. That gravy train is not infinitely long, of course, and even we will pay for our unwillingness to innovate beyond burning dead dinosaurs for fuel.

                      According to the DoE:

                      Contrary to what many people believe, fossil fuels are not the remains of dead dinosaurs. In fact, most of the fossil fuels we find today were formed millions of years before the first dinosaurs.

        3. Tony sounds like you support not harming the environment at all. How do you propose going about this and what would be your plan?

          1. Not maintaining a policy of letting the world’s richest corporations destroy the environment not only with impunity but with the active cheering of half of the political spectrum would be a good start.

            1. The only way to stop that would be to murder that half of the political spectrum that is doing the cheering. But you would have no problem with that, would you. Didn’t think so.

              1. Well, an awful lot of mostly-brown people in developing economies would have to die, too.

                1. Well, an awful lot of mostly-brown people in developing economies would have to die, too.

                  If the fossil fuel industry was shut down, then yes, billions of people in economically developing countries would die. Not millions, but billions. If politicians ever takes climate-change dogma to its logical conclusion, they’ll make the genocide of the last century look like a walk in the park.

              2. Or you could try not being servile morons.

                1. And Tony knows from servile morons!

            2. How are they destroying the environment without impunity?

              What constitutes destroying the environment?

              The problem is you seem to advocate that anything is bad. Thus you using any car or electricity is bad for the environment.

              I am trying to understand threshold here

              1. I’m arguing for getting over an extremely low bar here.

                Stop defending the unlimited free pollution of the planet’s atmosphere and oceans via fossil fuel burning by rejecting any and every attempt to have someone pay for it or to mitigate it by any measure.

                This is not a debate about facts. It’s a debate between facts and profit.

                1. How much life would be on this planet with no CO2 in the atmosphere? What is the perfect temp of the planet, Pangloss? What is the perfect CO2 concentration?

                  If you weren’t such a socialist lunatic, we could have an honest debate-which you would lose because you are a moron.

                2. What is this free pollution you speak of? How is there unlimited pollution with finite matter?

                  What do you propose instead?

        4. If scientists conclusively proved that the only way to successfully motivate people to protect the environment was to cut back on regulation and spending and strongly protect private property rights, would you suddenly decide that the planet probably should just burn? Well, we only have to look at the USSR or China’s environmental record to see the answer to that question.

  8. I’ve notice lefties go on and on about science and logic and how conservatives are making a war on science (which they kind of are in some isolated areas), yet most anti-vaxxers are lefties, as are most people using naturopathic “medicine” because “OMGZ! Big Pharmaz!!”

    1. I get all giddy on the inside when progressives try to pull the logic card.

      Tearing apart the logic of the Progressive ideology is one of the easiest debate wins.

      The only thing they do logically is find ways to gain more and more power.

      1. Tearing apart the logic of the Progressive ideology is one of the easiest debate wins.

        That’s because they feel fallacies to be compelling arguments. I mean, they feel right so they must be right, right?

        1. Emotivism at its best.

    2. Why are you insulting me on the morning links? I am not your father’s age. I am barely older than you are.

    3. 36% of Democrats believe in evolution and 30% believe the earth has always existed in its present form.

  9. You know who else had a selective love of religion in politics…

    1. Cersei Lannister?

      1. LOL This was a great reply. Thanks!

  10. It is not even secret anymore. They are openly arguing for ending the tax exemption for churches. You do that and then churches are free to enter politics just like any other organization. The tax exemption is part and parcel to the separation of church and state. The left are totalitarians. They hate the separation of church and state because they want the state merging with everything.

    1. But they still want tax exemptions for approved institutions. Principals, not principles.

    2. I simply think that there’s no good reason to give a tax exemption to a business just because it happens to sell bullshit fairy tales to idiots.

      1. Tony would you say that to muslims?

        1. Is Islam in the business of selling bullshit fairy tales to idiots? Yes? Then yes.

          1. He didn’t ask if you would insult Muslims to libertarians’ faces.

      2. Tony prefers to get his bullshit fairy tales from other sources (see the rest of his “contributions” to this thread).

      3. Bullshit fairy tales like “government is good and wonderful and the solution to all of our problems”?

        1. Oh look it’s the comically incompetent fallacy police invoking a straw man.

          1. Tony can you explain how raising the min wage reduces wealth inequality?

            1. After you explain how cutting income taxes for billionaires increases freedom.

              1. After you explain how cutting income taxes for billionaires increases freedom.

                That’s easy. Allowing people (yes, billionaires are people too) to keep their own money and use it as they wish increases freedom, whereas taking money away from people and using it for political purposes decreases freedom.

                1. Taxing a billionaire and distributing the money to be gives me more freedom. If we want to maximize freedom, we really should tax the rich a lot, no?

                  1. Taxing a billionaire and distributing the money to be gives me more freedom.

                    I love it when he lets his mask slip and shows his selfish envy to the world.

                  2. Having slaves to all the work on a plantation gives the plantation owners more freedom. If we want to maximize freedom, we should bring back slavery, no?

                    1. That’s exactly what he believes. He just calls it the tax code.

                  3. What money tony have you received from billionaires as i am sure you know the rich pay the highest effective rates and total dollars essentially funding all these programs?

                    You seem pretty greedy and the worst kind of greed…as you provide no discernible value to society and yet feel you are entitled to someone elses money simply cause you exist. It is as if you expect everyone else especially to cater to you the taker

                    Have to ask what have you done to give back since you have this expectation of others?

                    1. Well, I pay more of a percentage of my income in taxes than your average billionaire, for one. Why don’t you bitch at them?

                    2. Well, I pay more of a percentage of my income in taxes than your average billionaire, for one.

                      What are you talking about? Billionaires earn their income from investments which were purchased with money that was already taxed before it was invested. You’re being taxed once. They’re being taxed twice.

                    3. Double taxation, wow. I can always count on sarc to bring in the slimiest of wealth apologist bullshit.

                    4. Wealth apologist? That has to be one of the most idiotic and economically ignorant pejoratives in existence.

                      Accumulated wealth, as long as it was accumulated through providing goods and services to willing customers, is a sign of doing something right. If you invented a product that everyone liked (which will never happen because you’re a moron), and by selling it to millions of people you accumulated great wealth, would you have anything to apologize for? I don’t think so. You made millions of lives better with your invention. You’re a hero, and your great wealth is evidence of this. Do you owe a debt to society? Hell no! You already made millions of lives better, and your wealth is your just reward.

                      Holy shit you’re a moron. An emotional child who only knows envy and jealousy. What a worthless excuse of a human being you are. Totally and completely useless.

                      Please, do the world a favor and kill yourself.

                    5. *slow clap

                    6. Why do you think you are entitled to that wealth? What is your contribution?

                    7. So do I.

                      My idea is to lower my taxes, not increase someone else’s.

                      But that is because I’m not an envious little piece of shit.

                    8. What is your percentage of income? Can you prove this claim?

                      Are we talking wealth or income

                    9. Are we talking wealth or income?

                      Progressives don’t know the difference. Wealth, money, income, profits… it’s all the same to them. If someone else has more of it, then it’s something unfair that government must fix.

                  4. An ability to steal that which belongs to someone else does not constitute freedom.

              2. They dont have traditional income taxes and i am not sure i have seen that claim

          2. Being that I have yet to see you argue for anything other than more government, no matter what the subject is, I don’t see that to be a straw man at all.

      4. “I simply think ”

        No you don’t. You’re too fucking stupid to even understand why they have tax exempt status in the first place.

        1. Because churches like having $83.5 billion of taxpayer money better than not having it?

          1. The tax payers did not give them 83.5 billion so i an not sure why you posted this

          2. Can you cite how the government directly gave these churches funding?

            1. Did you see the chart? If you get to take a deduction on your taxes for giving to a church, that is government giving the church money. It’s more roundabout than cutting a check, but anyone but sarcasmic is surely capable of seeing how it is practically the same thing.

              1. Not giving (to the government) = taking (from the government)

                Tony, did your mother have any children that lived?

              2. That is not the govt giving them money. That is govt taking less money.

                As govt is to serve the people, not the other way around.

                So is your income really mine then using your logic? Please send me a check asap

                1. Leaving aside the direct subsidies listed that you’re ignoring, it does not take a quantum physicist to appreciate that giving someone a tax exemption means requiring an extra burden on someone else similarly situated who is not getting the exemption.

                  You have two businesses side-by-side. They are taxed to pay for the road that runs in front of them. Government decides to give an exemption to the one on the left. The road does not thus become cheaper.

                  1. You have two businesses side-by-side. They are taxed to pay for the road that runs in front of them. Government decides to give an exemption to the one on the left. The road does not thus become cheaper.

                    So charge tolls. But then you’d have to admit that very little of taxes paid go to services rendered (no, firemen’s pensions and police brutality settlements are not services).

                    1. By ignoring the point I’ll consider it your concession.

                      And yes, because every time people go through a toll station they all thing “I wish I could do this every half mile I drive every day of my life.”

                    2. That you prefer convenience to responsibility is not my problem. I proposed a solution to your so-called problem and you rejected it. How much of a road does a church use? Quantify it and send them a bill.

                  2. “Leaving aside the direct subsidies listed that you’re ignoring, it does not take a quantum physicist to appreciate that giving someone a tax exemption means requiring an extra burden on someone else similarly situated who is not getting the exemption.”

                    Sure, if the government has some specific revenue target for its operations and is figuring out how to raise it, like stupid people imagine happens.

                    If, as is actually the case, the government’s only prerogative is “steal as much shit as you can get away with”, then any given person’s tax burden is entirely unrelated to any other person’s tax burden, and is solely a function of the relative power balance between them and the state.

                  3. Why do you assume there has to be an extra burden? It isnt a zero sum game

                    1. Why do you assume there has to be an extra burden? It isnt a zero sum game

                      It is to Tony. That road’s gonna be built, whether the church needs it or even uses it. Shovel-ready jobs! Of course, even roads are a red herring. Paying for them (versus shoveling money to cronies) is a small part of what taxes are spent on. Tony wants them to contribute to his glorious welfare state, whether it comports with their religious principles or not. And if that should cause churches to close because they can’t pay the taxes, well then all the merrier for him since he’s a malicious anti-theist.

          3. Jesus fucking Christ, deductions and non-refundable tax credits are not the same as subsidies and refundable tax credits. Disingenuous as always.

  11. I think some progs crave power and are dangerous.

    Most i think have self esteem issues and they use their politics as a way to feel better about themselves. Also they seem to have been coddled their entire life and are afraid of having to do things on their own. This leads to revere the top men to take care of them yet they have an elitist view due to esteem issues and try to convince themselves everyone would be better off if followed their views.

    It reminds me of religions where the leaders guilt and shame patrons and then turn around and do it to ordinary folks under the false assumption of being helpful and nice.

    Progs for most part are harmless imo..

    1. Progs are very religious. Their religion is Statism and their god is Government, which derives its power from The Will of the People.

      1. Oh for sure they are religious. I think they have been coddled and nannied their entire life and want it to continue

      2. which derives its power from The Will of the People*

        * “The Will of the People” means “the will of bureaucrats and courtiers”

        1. Exactly. “The Public” is “Every Except You.” So since no individual member of the public has a say, then the only will being served is that of the bureaucrat or politician.

          1. The public is everyone except you unless you are a progressive then you are therefore the public

            Fify

  12. Democrat Tammy Baldwin: The First Amendment doesn’t extend ‘far beyond’ ‘institutions of faith’
    Tammy Baldwin: “Certainly the First Amendment says that in institutions of faith that there is absolute power to, you know, to observe deeply held religious beliefs. But I don’t think it extends far beyond that. We’ve seen the set of arguments play out in issues such as access to contraception. Should it be the individual pharmacist whose religious beliefs guides whether a prescription is filled, or in this context, they’re talking about expanding this far beyond our churches and synagogues to businesses and individuals across this country. I think there are clear limits that have been set in other contexts and we ought to abide by those in this new context across America.”

    1. I am sure I am preaching to the choir here but:
      1. A pharmacist that owns his own pharmacy should be absolutely free to not dispense ANY medication he/she doesn’t agree with.
      2. A pharmacist who is employed by a firm like CVS, Walgreens etc. must abide by the policies of the company. If they say we give out drug X, he/she will do it (within the bounds of medical and pharmacy ethics) or they will find a new job.
      3. If a person’s religious commitment ends at the church/synagogue/temple door, then frankly that isn’t much of a religion. What is the fucking point?

    2. Are these institutions, perchance, incorporated?

  13. Tony what form of energy do you support?

    1. For you, a small campfire made of twigs and manure, located just outside your straw hut. He imagines he will have a comfortable job in the castle attending to the king.

    2. Any that are nonpolluting.

      1. So, magic. Got it.

      2. What forms are non polluting?

        Have you yourself never polluted?

        1. Well, he’s polluting this thread…

          1. Another reason we need a comment approval function….

      3. Ain’t no such thing, buttercup.

        1. Libertarians believe in a hundred nonexistent things before breakfast. Only here are we supposed to simply throw up our hands and let polluters continue destroying the planet at no cost to them? How very convenient. In what ways do I get such a free lunch, or is it just the richest industries on earth that get that?

          1. Nobody said throw up your hands, dipshit. There are these things called courts, which libertarians support, which have these things called torts, which libertarians also support, to address harm caused.

            Furthermore, the “nonexistent things” we believe are called abstractions. Unlike you, nobody here is stupid enough to believe in the reification of imaginary things. You can’t just clap your hands, think real hard, and will into existence the physically impossible.

            1. Apparently you can if it’s torts handling global environmental harm.

              1. Torts used to handle environmental harm just fine, until the polluters got help from the government in the form of regulations. So long as the polluter is following government rules, then whomever they harm has no grounds to sue. That’s not the polluters’ fault. That’s your god Government’s fault.

              2. Apparently you can if it’s torts handling global environmental harm.

                Well now we have these things called “treaties” which, when used judiciously, can enable people in one country to seek legal redress against people in another country for harm caused. Of course, most harm is localized, so this really only matters for countries that share borders and waterways.

              3. Put up or shut up, asshat. The world is greener today than 30 years ago. Storms and economically adjusted (more stuff to break doesn’t mean things are getting worse anymore than an insurance claim on a totalled porsche vs. A Kia sport proves accident rates are going up) damage is LOWER than in the 50’s.

                All you have is thoroughly discredited chicken littles.

          2. Tony how would you go about achieving your dream of non pollution? Maybe i can get on board.

            Note you may be polluting by responding on here

          3. Libertarians believe in a hundred nonexistent things before breakfast.

            For all your pretentions about SCIENCE!!, you clearly have no idea how the law of thermodynamics works.

            1. For all your pretentions about SCIENCE!!, you clearly have no idea how the law of thermodynamics works.

              Tony doesn’t actually understand science. He’s not a scientist. But somehow he was imbued with the power to divine who the real scientists are. Despite not knowing what real science is. It’s a perpetual motion machine of question begging.

  14. I’m just wondering how the Progs think the Pope is a swell guy on Monday for towing the lion on climate change, a hateful asshole on Tuesday for saying no to gay marriage in Catholic churches, a prince on Wednesday for embracing failed economic policies tried in Latin America, an idiot on Thursday for not meeting with the Dali Llama, and a wise guru on Friday for meeting with Obama and a villain on Saturday for being the head of an organization that’s had a lot of cover ups of child molestation.

    Public figures say things I like and don’t like all the time. I don’t know that their stance on one issue informs my entire judgment of someone. But in Progland you are either on the shit list or in the club (or The Party). This guy goes from zero to hero and back again every news cycle in Progland. That kind of spinning would make my head hurt.

    1. He’s both a pope and antipope, and thus is treated based on which state he’s currently in.

      1. Quantum Pope?

  15. Rabbi Gary Creditor stressed the importance of loving your neighbor as yourself. “In Judaism things can be either an option or an obligation,” he said. “When we talk about the gap in medical coverage … it’s not an option for society from a religious perspective to debate the question. It’s an obligation upon society to fulfill it.”

    As a formerly observant Jew (by choice) who is now embracing his pagan roots, I always love how Reform Jewish rabbis talk about religious obligations when their whole religious view is that the Torah is not binding. Oh sure the “ethical” obligations, just not the “ritual” ones (the Sabbath is actually both, but you won’t find any Reform Jews walking to shul on Friday night or Saturday morning, or keeping kosher even though the point of kashrut is ethical treatment of animals and not eating animals which eat other animals).
    Of course ethical obligations are completely extended to “Palestinians” but not Israelis (but that is a whole other discussion)

    1. Maybe the good Rabbi should start a hospital and not charge for services rendered.

    2. His last name is actually Creditor? Was Usurer too on the nose?

  16. A story last week in The Times-Dispatch reported on a meeting at the Jewish Community Center in Richmond, where a group of faith leaders had gathered “to press the case that the provision of health care for all Americans is a moral imperative.”

    A moral imperative? For whom? Who pays for it? Far as I’m concerned, anyone who forcibly takes money out of my pocket to pay for their “moral imperative” is immoral.

    1. And this isn’t theocracy exactly how?

      1. This is what pisses me off about Reform (and Conservative to a large extent) rabbis:
        It states X in the Torah, but we don’t have to do it.
        It alludes to Y in the Torah, we absolutely have to do it.

        Of course, there are lots of stuff that piss me off about the Orthodox, too (SEX in particular), hence why I am no longer practicing Judaism.

      2. Well, it’s “theocracy” in the sense that the Christian right wanting to ban gay sex is theocracy.

        There’s a reasonable distinction to be made between religions wanting to compel belief, worship, or otherwise inherently “religious” things, from religions wanting to compel nonbelievers to follow certain restrictions/obligations mandated by that religion which are nevertheless secular. Don’t eat this, don’t fuck that, don’t work on this day — there are any number of people who say these things for non-religious reasons, morality or squeamishness or security or control. I feel like the word theocracy should be reserved for the former, for the explicitly use of power to compel/forbid religious belief, speech, or praxis, and leave the latter under the more generic heading of “authoritarianism”.

        Think of it like hate crimes; worry more about stopping the asshole that wants to take away your bacon, not trying to distinguish whether he’s doing it because he’s Muslim or because he thinks pigs are people too.

        1. I believe theocracy is roughly government either by religious specialists, or subject to frequent consultation/advice from religious specialists. Eg, in Reformation Geneva and colonial Massachusetts the public officials regularly met with the ministers on governmental topics. Or direct rule by priests or monks, like the old Tibetan state or the Vatican City-State.

    2. His argument may be that it is the moral imperative of a government that takes money from its populace to further the common good of the country, to then provide for the common good of the people of that country. There is an argument there, whether you are given to agree or not – it is a position, and may not necessarily be a movie villain voicing the demand for a nightmare theocracy. But then, you could ask him what he meant.

  17. I’m sure it’s been said, but it can never be said enough: Principals, not principles.

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  19. Don’t impose yer stinkin’ faith-based morality on me… except wherever it corresponds with my personal desire for increased wealth redistribution (then, impose away or I’ll call you a hypocrite).

  20. Man Tony’s asshole grew 10 sizes more today….

  21. Things I learned from this article:
    –“Liberals”=”Progressives”=”The Left” – and everyone who identifies as such thinks as one, a giant Socialist hivemind
    — if you are nonreligious but happen to share a policy opinion with someone who holds that opinion for religious reasons, you are harboring a religious opinion and are therefore a hypocrite
    — if you agree with one person’s stated opinion on a certain matter, you necessarily must agree with all of his opinions even if you do not believe he is your personal religious leader, because people whose religious leader he is must also do so
    — the word “histrionic” is acceptable journalism

    1. Yes, this article has a fundamental flaw: It doesn’t distinguish between urging conduct supported only by doctrine (no other gods before Me, keep the sabbath) and supporting desirable conduct by reference to a religion (don’t steal or murder). It is not inconsistent to support libertarianism by quoting the great Jewish philosopher who said you should “love your neighbor as yourself”.

  22. Hobby Lobby opposed Obamacare’s abortifacient mandate. They are not against contraception or paying for it.

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  24. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
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  25. Before investing all of our energy on calling out the hypocrisy of the left , we must recognize that they are only using the same tactics that the right has been using.
    If the right gets to cherry-pick religious dogma as truth, then the left gets to mimic that tactic.
    Both sides will be foolish.
    It appears to me that, over time, more people, in all parties, will realize the absurdities in using religious texts as “facts.”.

  26. It is perfectly possible to cite Pope Francis’s statements about curbing global heating without granting him or the Catholic Church any special authority. That’s what I do. As an Atheist, I don’t believe that either of them speaks for a deity, but I am glad to have their support for averting the disaster humanity is creating.

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