Religion

Is America Ready for a Scientologist President?

Maybe in a few more generations

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Beck for President
New Era Publications

First we heard Ben Carson's qualms about the idea of a Muslim president. Then came the responses highlighting Carson's own minority faith. (The presidential candidate is a Seventh-Day Adventist, a religion that not long ago was widely dismissed as a cult—and in some cranky quarters still is.) All the chatter reminds me of an infamous article published as 2008's election cycle was starting: a Slate piece by Jacob Weisberg declaring that he would not vote for Mitt Romney if the man "truly believed in the founding whoppers of Mormonism."

Weisberg's position rested largely on a distinction between very old religions and relatively recent ones:

One may object that all religious beliefs are irrational—what's the difference between [Mormonism founder Joseph] Smith's "seer stone" and the virgin birth or the parting of the Red Sea? But Mormonism is different because it is based on such a transparent and recent fraud. It's Scientology plus 125 years. Perhaps Christianity and Judaism are merely more venerable and poetic versions of the same. But a few eons makes a big difference. The world's greater religions have had time to splinter, moderate, and turn their myths into metaphor.

For the record: While I had my own reasons for rejecting Romney (and for that matter Carson), I don't agree with this argument. But Weisberg's worries and those two candidates' successes have got me thinking about how rapidly religious assimilation can proceed. In 1844 the first Mormon candidate for president—Joseph Smith himself—was killed by a mob before anyone could vote for him. The Millerite movement, from which Adventism grew, avoided politics altogether that year: Its adherents believed Christ would return before Election Day. Less than two centuries later, an Adventist is not just engaging in worldly politics but is polling in second place; and a Mormon managed recently to capture the nomination of a major political party.

So when I see Weisberg's words "Scientology plus 125 years," my first thought isn't Ugh, electing Mitt Romney would have been like electing Tom Cruise. It's this: If Scientology survives, how long will it be before one of its members mounts a credible run for the White House? Maybe in half a century the governor of Florida or California will be a follower of L. Ron Hubbard's church, and with some celebrity endorsements in his pocket he'll make a run for the Republican nomination. And if someone suggests he'll just be a puppet of the Sea Org, the pundits will laugh and remind their readers that there was a time when President Ahmed Mohamed's creed was considered unsavory too.

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344 responses to “Is America Ready for a Scientologist President?

  1. The world’s greater religions have had time to splinter, moderate, and turn their myths into metaphor.

    Um, I would be willing to bet that the vast majority of Christians actually believe that Jesus was born of a virgin…

    1. Who was born free from original sin. I wonder what that’s a metaphor for?

      And Christ, after having been murdered, rose from the dead three days later and ascended bodily into heaven. I wonder what that’s supposed to be a metaphor for?

      1. Interestingly the SJW version of racism being pushed on students at universities is more or less a form of original sin. We are moving in circles, ever twirling towards the inevitable heat death of the universe.

          1. I would say it, but it’s a taboo word on reasonable. The Kochspiracy runs deep.

        1. We are moving in circles, ever twirling towards the inevitable heat death of the universe.

          I propose we move forward, not backward; upward, not forward; and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards the future!

          1. That’s pretty gay.

          2. I appreciate how every time a vaguely allude to Kang’s (or was it Kodos?) speech someone has the decency to pick up the ball and run with it.

            1. Glad I could be of service.

      2. The alien sociologist returning to his ship

      3. “Who was born free from original sin. I wonder what that’s a metaphor for?

        “And Christ, after having been murdered, rose from the dead three days later and ascended bodily into heaven. I wonder what that’s supposed to be a metaphor for?”

        What the dickens? How are these metaphors? As key elements of the Christian mythology, one either accepts them as concrete truths or else denies them entirely as falsehoods. Who the fuck would imagine them as metaphors? That’s crasier than islam.

        Original sin clearly refers to the knowledge of good and evil that Adam and his wife–whatever her name was–got in that thing over, and which seems to be a permanent procreative faculty (gift slash curse) imbued in all their descendants. Ascension is a bit harder if one doesn’t conceive of ‘heaven’ as occupying a position equivalent to “the sky”. Many modern Christians feel obliged to re?magine heaven as something not in any way consonant with ‘the sky’. The basis for this deviation is difficult to understand. At worst, it’s a difficult description of a mystery impossible to comprehend. At best, it’s a literal description. There’s also total rejection of the whole story. Metaphor is not an option, unless one has the moral bravery of a wood chuck.

      4. Por otro lado, I know a socialist who has appropriated the gospels to his own philosophy. He describes every miraculous event as being in reality some kind of metaphor demonstrating the valor of some collectivist principle. He argues, for instance, that the loafs and fishes story did not actually mean to describe the miraculous extension of a few fish and toast into a huge quantity of the same, but rather was a metaphor about sharing; if everybody pitches in and shares equally, there is not only enough for everyone, but several baskets of bread crumb and fish parts more besides.

        1. “if everybody pitches in and shares equally”

          There’s the rub… Nobody EVER pitches in and shares equally. Monster governments have been created to enforce equally. Large governments breed corruption because the larger government is, the harder it is to control. Socialists have a fundamental misunderstanding of human nature. Socialism shares misery, not bounty.

    2. “Um, I would be willing to bet that the vast majority of Christians actually believe that Jesus was born of a virgin…”

      If so, that would go a long ways toward explaining a lot of the issues we deal with. Magical thinking is SO helpful (/s)

      1. I mean, if you call everything you don’t understand “magic”, then yes, it’s “magical” thinking.

        For that matter dowsing is magic because I have no idea how it works…

        Either way, the point was that the “myth” was suppressed, which isn’t true. Christians actually believe God can do what otherwise could not be done.

        1. I notice most people have no fucking idea how anything works. And they’re totally fine with that, and will actually get vehement in defending their submission to the statements of people they imagine as authorities. Yet at the same time they’ll pester the faithful about their credulous admission of some miracle or other, despite the fact that he may have put a heck lot more of analysis and reasoning into it than the heckler has put into the back surgery his doctor says he needs to have but which has never been explained to him nor clearly the reasons why it’s needed.

        2. I’m the other sort, who can’t go through life not understand the underlying processes and rules governing things, probably deriving in some way from my father who had a similar inclination and who tended to explain and even perform demonstrations of the physics of everything. One couldn’t just know how to do a thing. He had to be able to explain why doing a particular series of things led to the intended outcome. So I never take drugs till I have as much understanding of how they work, on a molecular level, as possible; sometimes, it can be demonstrated to work but the mechanism is not known and the only available theories are unsatisfactory and I will decline since as we don’t know what’s really going on and the theories are absurd that it may be something actually very harmful in some other area. Similarly, before tanning hides, I studied the chemistry. When I make a herbal tincture, I first ascertain as closely as possible the peak alcohol to water ratioes at which the desired components will be extract (there’s more often than not two different peaks, so that for the best result one should make a strong and a weak tincture and blend them).

        3. I can’t imagine what it’s like to bumble through every day with no fucking clew how anything around one actually works. It would be agonisingly infuriating for me. But other people just blithely do it and not only don’t try to understand anything but actively and violently combat anything that might lead to the accidental acquisition of understanding.

      2. For any honest man to buy into the Christian mythology, he’s got to, I think, know something not universally visible to everyone. He’s got to have some kind of first-hand observations that carry him over the hump. Every man is obliged to treat his own judgment as superior to everyone else’. As such, he won’t dismiss the evidence of his own senses just because it lacks intersubjectivity. And in fact, this is the case with many honest white Christian men I’ve known (they are not common).

      3. Thing is, after that point, he doesn’t abandon rational thought or the logic of reality, but rather simply applies it to a new set of “facts”. This is not possible for Mormonism or Islam. There are essential parts of these religions which are impervious to thought. All converts to Mormonism I’ve known decided to accept the patently fraudulent mythology because some aspect of how Mormonites lived felt right to them. First, it felt right. So they decided to “believe”, even if it meant going under the Mormonite thought suppressor field generator for two hours once a week after services. Mostly, it seems, they just don’t think about it. And the Mormonites certainly don’t go out of their way to force the rank and file to worry about the more difficult parts of their mythology. It is similar to Islam in that respect, and also different to most Christian and Jew sex, which tend to demand some level of understanding of the deeper mysteries of adherents. Because these mysteries can be thought about, grasped intellectually, and wrestled around with. With Mormonism and Islam, you’ve got huge expanses of belief which encompass things that can not be reconciled with the reality principle or with the rules of conscious thought, no matter how one tries to approach them or what starting premises he allows.

  2. a Slate piece by Jacob Weisberg declaring that he would not vote for Mitt Romney if the man “truly believed in the founding whoppers of Mormonism.”

    Otherwise he would totally vote for a Republican right?

    1. Look, it was an opportunity to make fun of a religion that doesn’t result in your entire office getting shot up. You don’t pass that up.

      1. +1 Voodoo doll

        1. Is ‘voodoo economics’ any more a religiophobic slur than the ‘Christian economics’ professed by the likes of….well, practically everybody, you know, the economics where ‘and then some stuff just miraculously happens’? Minimum wage hikes, higher taxes, more regulation, subsidies for your buddies, employer mandates – all the stuff that just somehow is designed to produce a ‘better’ economy despite the common-sense intuition that all that stuff should produce a worse economy – just gets a wave of the Holy Hand of Government and suddenly it’s all good. Say three Hail Barry’s and an Our Father Who Art In Washington and all your economic sins are forgiven. Or at least blamed on the Kochs.

          1. One might argue that theft is fundamentally unchristian.

    2. I also think one ought to shy away from voting for someone who publicly embraced a religion he didn’t really believe. That’s actually about the ultimate hypocrisy.

      And the public/private life thing is bullcrap. If one is a Mormonite or a Jew or whatever privately, he’s a Mormonite or a Jew or whatever publicly. If he’s not, then he’s a hypocrite. But there’s nothing inherent to being a follower of a religion that means one has to also subvert the political order and violently oppress everyone. Certainly there is something inherent to being a follower of certain religions, and that’s just a fact one’s got to face. Seems like a lot of grandiloquent skeptofascists believe in some fantasy of life in which all religions are somehow equally stupid and vicious and so may be treated as effectively neutral and any specifics ignored, when in fact each religion’s orientation with regards to freedom must be considered specificly. Freedom of religion is laudable. Failure to discriminate is unsupportable.

  3. One may object that all religious beliefs are irrational

    I think one of the needs religion serves, among many, is the existential angst regarding death. I don’t see any evidence of an after life. The only evidence I have is that when you die, that’s it. Apparently most people simply cannot deal with the responsibility or acknowledge the consequences of having a finite life and what that entails. Religion helps assuage that angst. A finite is a tough nut to swallow. So, I don’t get to bent out of shape when people adopt a coping mechanism known as religion. Maybe it isn’t all that irrational if it allows people to deal with the slings and arrows that torment the living.

    1. There’s that and there’s also the idea of some sort of justice in an afterlife for people with the power to avoid justice in this life.

    2. Yeah, it’s definitely better to put a bandaid on that than it would be to face reality and ask yourself whether you’d do something differently. Like whether you really want to keep creating more of the same existential crises by reproducing.

      1. Wait are you anti-reproducing or something?

        1. Quite so – I suspect some Mom or Grandma sighing about not having grandchildren hath stirred Her Worstness to perpetual angryfication on this subject.

          1. They don’t bother with that shit.

            Yes I am anti-natalist.

            1. Don’t blame you.

              The last thing I want to sign up for is shitting out coconuts that perpetually cry and soil themselves.

      2. Don’t pretend my baby pictures don’t make you ovulate, bitch.

        1. This must be that “negging” thing I have seen mentioned…?

          *clicks ball point, opens notebook*

          1. Your shirt is a little too tight for you, Swiss.

            1. I love the H&R hive of memetic douchebaggery.

              1. I will overtan and pop my collar for you any day, Waffles.

          2. You need to combine an insult with a backhanded compliment or something. I still don’t get it.

            1. It’s an art – some have it, some don’t.

            2. Maybe it is just the shirt you are wearing, but your biceps do not seem as large as they usually do. I mean, you are in good shape, but I guess today I am just not seeing it.

            3. The real reason you can’t neg is because you’re just too kind and good a person, Warty. Too bad it also means your woman walks all over you. It’s a nice personality trait.

              1. See? Nikki’s got it.

                Now we bang, right, Nikki? But, like in a way that makes me cry the next day. Right?

                1. Aww, sweet pea, I’m not going to know what you do the next day.

                  1. Hopefully fixing his hair! Today could have been a bad hair day, I guess.

                  2. *Nikki hands Warty $20*
                    Warty: “WTF! I’m not a hooker!”
                    Nikki: It’s cab fare. I already called them. You can wait at the curb.”

                  3. Just what are you honkeys talking about?

                    1. I like you, Sapient Mulch. That’s why I’m going to kill you last.

                    2. HM, I thought you’d be taller.

                    3. I almost crying with laughter….God Bless all of you.

                      And to think, I used to come here just for the alt-text.

    3. I don’t see any evidence of an after life.

      Usually, when something sounds too good to be true it probably is. I mean, who wouldn’t love to live in paradise with your friends and family for all eternity in exchange for following some arbitrary rules? A place where good people receive their reward and bad people are finally punished. Just make sure you pick the right religion, though. Because if you pick the wrong one (and there can be only one) then you burn in Hell for eternity.

      1. I mean, who wouldn’t love to live in paradise with your friends and family for all eternity in exchange for following some arbitrary rules?

        I guess that depends on how much you like your friends and family.

        1. I guess that depends on how much you like your friends and family.

          Actually, the thought of spending eternity with my family sounds more like Hell than Heaven, but I assume this attitude is not normal. Some wise man once said, “God gives us our families–thank goodness we get to choose our friends.”

          1. Familiarity breeds contempt.

            1. No, I never got along with my family because they always told me how weird and dumb I was. But then I went to school, got tested, and discovered they were the ones who were weird and dumb. Perhaps the hospital gave them the wrong baby by mistake because I had nothing in common with them.

              1. Perhaps the hospital gave them the wrong baby by mistake because I had nothing in common with them.

                There’s a way to figure that out.

                1. There’s a way to figure that out.

                  Nope. Both parents dead and cremated so I don’t have any genetic samples to compare to me. Besides, I like to believe it’s true and would be very disappointed to find out it’s not.

                  1. I like to believe it’s true and would be very disappointed to find out it’s not.

                    Kind of like how religious people feel about their beliefs…

                    1. Kind of like how religious people feel about their beliefs…

                      Yes, but I would accept scientific evidence that offered the truth. Mormonism claims that Native Americans came from Israel, but modern DNA tests prove this to be a lie. Yet people continue to believe it, in spite of mounting proof that Joseph Smith was just a con-man who wanted lots of wives.

                    2. Yes, but I would accept scientific evidence that offered the truth.

                      But that’s the thing about “True Believers”, they refuse to accept scientific evidence to the contrary and become very disappointed, defensive, and possibly angry when others question it.

                      Kind of like how supposedly* some creationists still believe that the Earth is only 6,000 years old and no amount of evidence to the contrary will convince them otherwise, and attempts to do so will be met with denial and anger.

                      *I say supposedly because I’ve never met any of these angry hard core creationists, but I have met many douchebag anti-religionists who claim they exist and blame those “intolerant bigots” for their own intolerant douchebaggery.

                    3. I’ve never met any of these angry hard core creationists

                      Neither have I, but I’ve read what they believe on their websites. And how they come up with creative explanations such as the Earth was ‘created old,’ and that dinosaur bones were put there to test our faith, etc. You can’t reason with someone who thinks that way. And I would never vote for someone like that either.

      2. Well, there is also the outside chance that you may be forced to stand in line for eternity.

        1. I think I could only handle standing in line for half an eternity…

          1. *tapers stare*

      3. That isn’t how Christianity works at all, but nice try.

        1. But it is the way most man made religions work.

        2. Are you saying that your eternal reward isn’t gained by following a prescribed set of behaviors with no ability to independently confirm the efficacy of those behaviors in gaining you that reward?

          1. Are you saying that your eternal reward isn’t gained by following a prescribed set of behaviors

            Yes, that’s what we’re saying. Being a Christian doesn’t mean following the right rules. Those rules (“the Law”) don’t save, they condemn. Read the books of Galatians and Hebrews. Also, Romans 4:1-6.

            no ability to independently confirm the efficacy of those behaviors in gaining you that reward?

            Not true either. Romans 8:14-17 (many, many others…)

            1. “Have faith” or “Have faith and do good works” are also rules.

              1. I believe you know the English language. My belief is not a rule.

                Ephesians 2:8-9

              2. Faith in the grand sense is not something under human control. A person can’t just psych himself to have a really really fucking lot of faith whenever the need arises. It just comes in and blasts into some people now and then, if not at random so close then that I can’t tell the difference, though being religious such persons tend to see dubious patterns and rationalise it after the fact. Faith is not volitional, but our actions are (technically our actions as manifestations of our beliefs, since most behavior is actually more or less a series of automatic responses to stimuli as directed by one’s beliefs or lack therof). So even if one admits salvation be by faith, not by works, so what? We can’t just make ourselves have faith by force of will. The only thing we can do is to ACT in ways that we think will make us more receptive to faith when C?pido Inv?ctus (or whoever) decides to bite us in the neck one day. I think the distinction was of some importance with regards to the context in which it was originally put forth, but it’s certainly not of any universal practical value. The bible is not some handbook of daily living that any vulgar jerkoff can just flip open for quick solutions whenever he gets stumped. It’s a collection of nigh incomprehensible mystifications that is products of a slew of crasy unhomogeneous contributing factors. Grow a brain. Golly gee wizz!

                1. In sum, the Catholics got it straight–NEVER READ THE BIBLE. (exceptions for the clergy who got to suffer bible study amongst all sorts of other painful indignities and proofs of faith notwithstanding)

                2. We can’t just make ourselves have faith by force of will.

                  Did you believe it when you were on the bottom of the slide and your mother/father told you they’d catch you at the bottom? That is faith.
                  Matthew 18:3

                  The bible is not some handbook of daily living that any vulgar jerkoff can just flip open for quick solutions whenever he gets stumped.

                  Yes, Moralistic Therapeutic Deism is quite useless.

                  It’s a collection of nigh incomprehensible mystifications that is products of a slew of crasy unhomogeneous contributing factors. Grow a brain.

                  2 Corinthians 2:15-17

            2. I think we all agree, Calvinism sucks donkeyballs.

              1. But Calvinballism? Rocks.

                1. I’m calvinballing it up right now. Actually, taking a brief respite between calvingballs to polish my calvinballer for the next run. Calvinball that sucker!

              2. Waffles? Do you feel the angry stares of dozens of my relatives still in the Netherlands?

            3. ‘Being a Christian doesn’t mean following the right rules. Those rules (“the Law”) don’t save, they condemn.’

              This is true, but it is because Christianity seeks a communion of the divine and the human will. Once attained, one retains full awareness of the true nature of things and no longer pursue less preferable pleasures at the expense of more preferable pleasures. Furthermore, he is aware of being filled with the spirit of God and his will and the divine will become complementary. The obvious is no longer hidden. Such a one would only be hampered and stultified by the law. At the same time, the law no longer serves any purpose for one who no longer suffers the ignorance and spiritual impairments and pridefulness that make it impossible for the undivine to even approach a dismal approximation of honourable demeanour without a cheat sheet of goodness operationalised.

      4. and there can be only one

        Kind of like Highlander, the Academy Award winner for Best Movie Ever Made?

        1. Best Movie Ever Made

          Point Break?

          1. Killer Klowns From Outer Space

          2. In a Kafkaesque twist, it’s actually Talladega Nights: The Legend of Ricky Bobby.

      5. It just seems to me, that Christians spend much of their time trying to convert others in their way of thinking with the hope of bringing them all into the fold.

        I don’t know about you, but if that was me, I’d have a cheshire smile on my face like the guy who just got an insider stock tip. And I ain’t telling nobody! If I’m certain to be rewarded in the afterlife with eternal existence, I want to make sure I get primo real estate and I’m going to do my damn best to make sure we don’t have any overcrowding problems. Life might be a bitch -eternity sounds exhausting and not very appealing.

    4. I think one of the needs religion serves, among many, is the existential angst regarding death.

      It’s hard to imagine your own non-existence. I don’t mean externally, like, “what would the world be like without Paul.” (a question too awful to comprehend) but what happens to me, my thoughts etc., when it’s lights-out?

      Even without religion per se, the idea of an afterlife is quite attractive. Because without at least believing in an afterlife, you sure start to regret all the wasted years.

      1. Something to consider: the cells in our bodies continually die and are placed with new ones. For most people that means we become physically different people about every 7 years–except we remain the same person with our personalities and memories completely intact. If our minds can be transferred to a new body without any perceivable loss, then maybe our consciousness could continue after death.

        1. Maybe, but in a dream like state or aware that your body is trapped?

          1. I don’t know. Just grasping at straws here since I find the traditional concept of an Afterlife to be far-fetched, but don’t like the idea of me vanishing when my body dies.

        2. If our minds can be transferred to a new body without any perceivable loss, then maybe our consciousness could continue after death.

          I suppose that could be one to describe a spirit or a soul, just minus the religious stuff. Interesting thought.

        3. This is where having just a bit of nihilism in your makeup helps; or at least it has me. I really don’t worry about it much, as every particle in the universe will eventually meet the same fate.

      2. Akk-kk-kk! For even the soulless no-faith in his vanity wishes to believe in his own immortality, as that, sadly, bereft,–Wae!–therewithouten–Wae, wae!–he’ll get all et up, through and through, for good and all, wi sair sad face and sorrowfullest regret, for all his wasted years!
        Sure… if he be some kind of fucking pussy.
        My mother used to say, a man never apologises, a man regrets nothing. He acts with decision, and then,–guess what–before you know it, he acts again, with even more decision!
        Agonising over whether or not one has made the very, very best use of every moment of his brief and pathetic excuse for being alive does not necessarily follow from disbelief in an afterlife. There’s a ton of philosophers who refused to admit belief in afterlife yet never got anywhere close to worrying about making the best use of one’s time. It’s quite obvious that as soon as one’s dead, none of it fucking matters anymore.

        1. So maybe you fritter away your stupid queerbait life playing airhockey and circlejerking wi your buds in the cowshed, but then at some point, you get killed and die, and–guess what–none if it fucking matters anymore! Rather, this regret and this anxiety about dying, it all requires an impossible mental gymnastic in which one conceives of his own nonexistence and imagines it as though it were something he actually experiences. In fact, as soon as you’re dead, you no longer exist, so you can’t experience it–or anything else–, so every time you worry about dying or being careful or wasting your life, or whatever, you’re being a dumbass. Just do it!

          (I’m doing it right now.)

          And then do it again, for that sooner or later something or other will happen and you’re like old Gigantopithecus: big ape in a bonesack, all killed off and no regrets.

          Fuck China also.

    5. “I think one of the needs religion serves, among many, is the existential angst regarding death.”

      I don’t think so. Especially since so far as I can tell existential Angst for death was actually pretty uncommon till recently. Even now, it makes no sense and it’s hard to understand from whence it may be coming from out of. Just read some stories or articles about pretty much anything from even 150 years ago, and one sees a people that didn’t seem struck by any intrinsic horror at the prospect of personal extinction. Whereas now it’s almost universally experienced and folks act like enduring nigh to any shame or indignity is justifiable in order to keep sucking the community air.

      1. Rather I’d say it’s a kind of materialistic Angst that drives folks to religion. I say this based on the historical writings of people of all eras dealing with religious questions and based on personal familiarity with many people irresistably drawn to religious solutions. There is something painful about materialistic existence to them. It’s like there’s something missing, there’s some aspect of reality which is just as important as everything else but which is somehow hidden from conscious perception most of the time, and living a dry, materialist existence with no greater mindfulness of reality is too much to bear. The problem is addressed, more or less, by every religion. Philosophers who’ve recognised this but who are disinclined to postulate a supernatural basis have come up with a dozen theories explaining the underlying processes. It seems like it’s most often put forth as a reaction to the apparent absurdity of existence, the conflict of the rational mind instinctively inclined to understand with an existence composed of meaningless, possibly random, events that just happen for no good reason.

  4. Hmmm…out of curiosity, I looked up some info about the Presidential campaign of Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, in 1844. I was surprised to see that he wanted to buy the freedom of all the slaves out of the proceeds from the sale of public lands. The Mormons in those days were explicitly racist against black people, but I guess they didn’t go to the extreme of approving their enslavement.

    Less surprisingly, he thought that any expansion of the country should be with the consent of the Indians, who after all play a key role in Mormon teachings.

    1. Interesting

      He denounces the abolitionists, asks Southerners to petition for the abolition of slavery, and in addition to having Congress buy the freedom of the slaves from the sale of the public lands, Congress should also reduce its own salaries for the purpose of being able to afford this emancipatory policy.

    2. The Mormons in those days were explicitly racist against black people,

      So was just about everybody, including a lot of abolitionists.

      1. How true.

        1. How true.

          But there were people who were bona fide racists and yet had enough humanity that they didn’t like the idea of black people and their descendants being consigned to lifetime bondage.

          1. The problem with Mormonism is that because it codified the idea that blacks were inferior in the Book of Mormon the Mormon church was still pretty goddamn racist even compared to the rest of society well into the 70s.

  5. Well, if Weisberg believes age makes religion more okay, he shouldn’t be wasting his time with that upstart Yahweh. Bring back the Elder Gods!

    Cthulu 2016 – Why Choose the Lesser Evil!

    1. SMOD would look down at your puny elder god and laugh – if he had eyes, a mouth, or a sense of humor. But he has none, for he exists only to bring death to us all.

  6. Since all religion is an expression of irrational thought, you should really only vote for an atheist since the competition is demonstrably insane….

    1. Atheists can be just as extreme and irrational as the other religions. An Agnostic or Deist would be a good choice, but most people wouldn’t vote for them since the public prefers to elect someone who believes the same made-up things that they do.

      1. There are atheists and there are anti-religionists.

        One simply has no faith, while the other is actively hostile to those who do.

        Unfortunately a lot of people (like John for example) insist that they are one and the same.

        1. Yes, I was thinking of the extreme, militant Atheists who are intolerant of anyone who doesn’t believe exactly as they do.

          1. Unfortunately, those are ones you always hear from/about.

            1. e.g. The Freedom from Religion Foundation

          2. the extreme, militant Atheists who are intolerant of anyone who doesn’t believe exactly as they do.

            Which ironically is the very thing they like to accuse Christians of doing. Talk about projection.

      2. “Atheists can be just as extreme and irrational as the other religions.”

        Atheism is a religion? That sounds like a noncontroversial idea.

        1. Yeah, I know this inconvenient truth sets most Athiests off. But Agnostics are the only true non-religion since they don’t present a theory about how we came to be, or what we’re supposed to be doing. Btw, I’m a Deist and am not taking sides.

          1. religion necessitates some sort of behavioral restraints (at least on the basest level). A philosophy which doesn’t emplace any real restraints on the behavior its adherents can not be religion. Similarly, on some level or other, it should put some requirements on what adherents believe, but this is more nebulous and variable. Athefuckingism satisfies the second, but not the first. I’d also suggest that one consider belief in some transcendent reality be an essential component of religion. I would not consider atheism a religion. Nor should I take some kinds of buddhism nor Chinese folk religion in itself as some kind of religion.

  7. Some of Hubbard’s mantras, to keep his spirit strong:

    “That masturbation is no sin or crime.”

    “That I do not need to have ulcers anymore.”

    “That the numbers 7, 25 and 16 are not unlucky or evil for me.”

    “That I am not susceptible to colds.”

    “You have no urge to talk about your navy life. You do not like to talk of it. You never illustrate your point with bogus stories. It is not necessary for you to lie to be amusing and witty.”

    “You like to have your intimate friends approve of and love you for what you are. This desire to be loved does not amound to a psychosis.”

    “You will makes fortunes writing.”

    “You will always look young.”

    “You have no doubts about God.”

    “You are not a coward.”

    “Your hip is a post. You have a sound hip. It never hurts. Your shoulder never hurts.”

    “You have no fear of what any woman may think of your bed conduct.”

    “Self pity and conceit are not wrong. Your mother was in error.”

    “Masturbation does not injure or make insane. Your parents were in error. Everyone masturbates.”

    “You did a fine job in the Navy. No one there is now ‘out to get you.'”

    “Snakes are not dangerous to you. There are no snakes in the bottom of your bed.”

    “You do not masturbate.”

    If a politician can promise that he is not a coward, that he’s willed away his ulcers, and that he does not masturbate (while admitting that everyone masturbates), he has my vote. And a pass on raping a kid or two.

    1. Self pity and conceit are not wrong.

      Sounds like any other politician

  8. There will be a Scientologist before there is an avowed Atheist.

    1. Seriously. It’s a good thing we live in a secular nation that has no established religion, ain’t it?

    2. Religion is an easy proxy for having to think about someone’s principles.

      “Oh, he’s from that tribe.”

    3. “At least he believes in something.”

      1. Yup. That’s it.

        As John tells us frequently, no religion — no law.

        An atheist can’t be trusted with the keys to the castle.

        1. So the only thing that holds religionists back from raping and murdering is their belief in a transcendent being? That’s something of a self-defeating argument that paints religionists as freaks. Amanda Marcotte may be a total piece of shit, but on this point I agree with her.

          1. You’ll have to take it up with John. He has made that argument.

          2. Why do you refrain from violating NAP?

            Honestly, if you knew you could get away with it, would you punch someone so you could get a million dollars for it? How about the murder of a real jerk of a person for a billion? I mean, if you knew you’d get away with it…

            Again, Christianity doesn’t work that way either. The reason I don’t do evil (when I’m succeeding in being good) is because I know it pleases my Creator, not because I think I will get punished for it if I do it.

            The Son of my God died a horrible death to save me from the punishment I deserve. Even if I could “get away” with doing evil, dare I make his sacrifice meaningless by ignoring that fact?

            1. because I know it pleases my Creator

              You’re still referencing an external influence on your decision, it’s just positive instead of negative.

              1. To put it another way, without the Creator, there is no me, there is no person to murder, and there is no universe in which to do these things.

                I took the question not as asked; yes, I understood it, I just wanted to answer the more interesting question.

                I noticed you didn’t answer my question. Would you murder a terrible human being for 1 billion dollars if you knew you would get away with it?

                1. No. It violates my morals.

                  Now I would kill in self-defense. I might do so as revenge also.

                  For the record, I am agnostic.

                  1. No. It violates my morals.

                    Where do your morals come from?

                    Also, I don’t actually believe you, but I don’t have any proof otherwise, so I’ll run on the assumption that you are telling the truth and that you know yourself that well.

                    Now, would you stab a jerk in the arm for 1 Trillion dollars? Knowing you would get away with it? I mean, think of all the good you could do with 1 Trillion dollars!

                    1. Why should I believe you? Am I to assume that your love for God is sufficient to keep you from sinning? Because I can think of many who professed a love for God (or fear of) and sinned mightily.

                      My morals come from constant re-evaluation. I would be lying if I said that they hadn’t changed. And in fact, engaging in the commentary on this website has caused me to alter them a few times.

                    2. I always find it bizarre that people who believe in a god just can’t grok not believing in a god.

                    3. I always find it bizarre that people who believe in a god just can’t grok not believing in a god.

                      Oh, you have a “god”, just not one of the named religions’ gods. You have something at the top of your priority list, one thing you will not sacrifice no matter what. Most people have themselves there, many put an institution of some sort there, and some people actually put a traditional deity there.

                      But, strictly speaking, everyone has a “god”. There is a reason that the 1st and 2nd commandments aren’t just one. There are “idols”, depictions of beings, and then there are “gods”.

                    4. oh, you have a “god”

                      See what I mean? Thanks for your input, John.

                    5. I’m sorry you don’t like it that you have a “god”. You are actually much better at following your god than most Christians are at following the LORD, so you’ve got that going for you.

                      (Also, not John. I’m an anarchist.)

                    6. I’m an anarchist

                      Well, if that doesn’t qualify you to insist that I have a god, I don’t know what does.

                      I understand and accept that you are incapable of grokking “no god”. It’s fine, I’m not going to argue about it until the end of days. You don’t get it, end of story.

                    7. Well, if that doesn’t qualify you to insist that I have a god, I don’t know what does.

                      Said to ensure you knew I wasn’t John. He isn’t an anarchist or anything like it.

                      You don’t get it, end of story.

                      I understand that you think you have no “god”. You are just wrong. You don’t believe in an outer higher power. You believe you are the “higher power”. If you define morality, then you have set yourself up as “god”. That’s the original sin, Genesis 3:5.

                      You know who else set themselves up as “god”?

                    8. Yes, yes. We get it. You don’t understand the concept. There’s no need to keep harping on it. There are plenty of other reasons to think less of you.

                    9. Yes, yes. We get it. You don’t understand the concept. There’s no need to keep harping on it. There are plenty of other reasons to think less of you.

                      Deny definitions, ridicule. Went straight Alinsky there, now didn’t you?

                    10. I almost feel sorry for you, but not quite.

                    11. More ridicule.

                      Not arguing, not debating, simple ridicule.

                      You don’t believe a “god” can be anything other than a supernatural being. I don’t limit the word as much as you do.

                      You are wrong. You worship something. Everyone worships something. Most worship themselves, especially those who least deserve worship.

                    12. Not arguing, not debating, simple ridicule.

                      I can’t see a reason for anything else. You’ve showed up with your label maker and started putting “god” stickers all over everything. Then you pull a sad face when people don’t agree with you.

                      You are wrong. You worship something. Everyone worships something. Most worship themselves, especially those who least deserve worship.

                      You are wrong. I know you don’t think you are, but you really are. What reason is there to keep going with this? You have set your mind, you believe you know the truth of things, and you won’t hear otherwise.

                      And just like John, you believe you possess a level of clairvoyance. I suppose you both got it from your “god”.

                    13. You’ve showed up with your label maker and started putting “god” stickers all over everything. Then you pull a sad face when people don’t agree with you.

                      You are free to keep believing you don’t have a “god”. You are wrong, but free to be wrong.

                      You worship something. You are devoted to that something above all other things. That is your “god”. It may not be divine in your mind but it may as well be for all accounts and purposes.

                      And just like John, you believe you possess a level of clairvoyance.

                      What I know many people before me have known. I am not special.

                    14. You have something at the top of your priority list, one thing you will not sacrifice no matter what.

                      That’s a pretty odd definition of “god”, but whateves.

                    15. I read the 1st commandment, then the 2nd… it was the only conclusion I could come to. “You shall have no other gods before me” doesn’t just refer to idols, spirits, or divinities, but also to anything whatsoever that takes the place of God.

                      “If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison–your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters–yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple.”

                    16. I understand that; however, being the top of one’s priorities is not sufficient for Godhood, imo. The second quote comes closer to the truth, there needs to be a sense of devotion toward the object or concept.

                    17. I would say that anything at the top of your priorities, that which you would give your life for (unless it is your life) would be something you’d be devoted to (something you loved).

                      And no, it doesn’t make you God to worship yourself. It certainly doesn’t make government God when millions worship it. But it would be a “god”, the “god” of the worshipers.

                    18. Why should I believe you?

                      You shouldn’t. You should watch what I do.

                      Am I to assume that your love for God is sufficient to keep you from sinning?

                      I really wish it were. Alas, I’m still this side of Glory and sin sometimes. I’m doing better though.

                      Because I can think of many who professed a love for God (or fear of) and sinned mightily.

                      That would exhibit the inherent issue with any self-reported “poll”, now wouldn’t it?

                      My morals come from constant re-evaluation… engaging in the commentary on this website has caused me to alter them a few times.

                      So, from within and from without? If one of those commenters happened to be a Christian, then you morality would come from a belief in a God (just not yours), no?

                      Now, would you punch a jerk in the face if it meant that there would be only half as many violations of NAP in the universe until the end of time? I mean, come on! How many billions of lives would you save?

                    19. So, from within and from without? If one of those commenters happened to be a Christian, then you morality would come from a belief in a God (just not yours), no?

                      You’re stretching it a bit too far there.

                      All of my thinking rests on a long history of Western thought. I am a product of my environment. To the extent that Christianity has influenced or even been the source of a large percentage of that thought, then yes, I owe gratitude to it.

                    20. You’re stretching it a bit too far there.

                      Not really, your faith is just indirect.

                      All of my thinking rests on a long history of Western thought.

                      So your morals come from “smart people”, or something like that. Lots of smart people turned out to be Utilitarians… I’m trying to see if NAP is actually your sine quo non or if it’s something else.

                    21. “I really wish it were. Alas, I’m still this side of Glory and sin sometimes. I’m doing better though.”

                      Pride.

                    22. Right and wrong is obviouser than godhead. One may employ right and wrong as an evidence of godhead, but I can’t conceive an experience of life so strange that one finds himself honestly extrapolating right and wrong from the existence of God, as though God is more natural to him than not hurting anyone. WEIRD AS FUCK.

                    23. Where do your morals come from?

                      and that may well be the central question. For laws to work, they have to make sense and they have to have some moral authority. Most people can name ten stupid laws without batting an eye. The latter is reflective of many of those in the law-making business, the FYTW crowd. Hard to expect the subjects to tow the lion when you exempt yourself from it.

                    24. To answer your next question.

                      Now, would you stab a jerk in the arm for 1 Trillion dollars?

                      Not sure.

                      I’ll ask you a question that’s based in about as much reality as yours. If you felt that God was speaking to you, would you seize all the prophets of Baal and take them down to the Kishon Valley to kill them?

                    25. If I happened to live in God’s land (Palestine) in the BC, and there were some “trespassers” in the land, who agreed to worship God only and didn’t, then failed to leave, leading the 10 northern tribes of Israel away from him, and committed an untold mess of other sins, and I happened to be named Elijah, yes I would.

                      Now, that being said, I’d better be 100% sure that it was indeed God who was talking to me, proof like a giant ball of fire coming down from the sky and lighting an altar that had been drenched in water 3 times (during a terrible drought). That would be enough to convince me.

                      Please don’t try Biblical tricks. I actually know the book.

                    26. And I thought I was cynical.

                    27. ace_m82|9.24.15 @ 3:11PM|#

                      “Where do your morals come from?”

                      Same place as the morals co-opted by the power-freaks starting any religion: They looked around, saw what worked and claimed to originate them.
                      I’ll give ‘me this: They ran like hell to get in front of that parade. Other than that? Con artists.

                    28. “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
                      for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
                      Blessed are those who mourn,
                      for they will be comforted.
                      Blessed are the meek,
                      for they will inherit the earth.
                      Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
                      for they will be filled.
                      Blessed are the merciful,
                      for they will be shown mercy.
                      Blessed are the pure in heart,
                      for they will see God.
                      Blessed are the peacemakers,
                      for they will be called children of God.
                      Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
                      for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”

                      “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”

                    29. And for the record. I love the beattitudes. It’s such a necessary compliment to the ten commandments because it tells me what I can do, not what I cannot do. I do strongly believe I can be a moral person without needing to believe in magic. I find strength in myself.

                    30. Ergo, you are your own “god”. You are that which you worship above all other things.

                      And then I go all reductio ad hitlerum on that POV…

                    31. The fucking beatitudes are simple statements of fact. They are not benedictions. Each of the classes of blessed motherfuckers is blessed (lucky or happy in a sort of sublime spiritual sense) because of how that particular characteristic interacts with the cosmos.

                    32. Thanks Sevo, I needed a moment to breathe. This is a hoot!

                    33. No I wouldn’t do any of these things. The reason? I don’t believe in magic.

      2. Do you think an openly Muslim candidate would win over an atheist or an agnostic? I think that one’s a toss.

        1. I depends. A moderate Muslim is basically a socon with a rug when you break it down. He would have to be a Kennedy-type figure, but Muslims and Christians aren’t as far apart as most Murikans! think.

          1. *It depends* dammit

            1. I always kind of suspected that you wore adult diapers, but I wasn’t sure whether it was medical or recreational.

              1. I think he’s more of a Oops, I Crapped My Pants kind of guy.

          2. “a socon with a rug”

            I know we’re not each others’ biggest fans, but I giggled at that.

        2. I’ve seen polls that indicate most people in the US would vote for anyone over an Atheist. If they can’t vote for someone who believes the same made-up things as them, then they’ll settle for someone who believes other made-up things. But the voters would never support someone who believes in nothing–that’s crazy!

          1. I’ve seen those as well. But I think post Arab Spring and ISIS, the American suspicion towards Islam has grown even larger.

            1. Could be. But a shockingly-high number of Americans believe Obama is a Muslim–and that’s the least of their complaints about him.

              1. part of the Obama thing is no one is quite sure what he is. You knew W was a bible-thumper and you saw Bill periodically come out of church with a bible in one hand and holding Hillary’s with the other. And on down the line.

                Obama sees a-religious though a good case could be made that he is sympathetic to Islam since he saw it up close as a child and it wasn’t in the jihad sense.

                1. no one is quite sure what he is

                  This is a common theme on the Left.

        3. As opposed the Secret Muslim in the White House now?

          Relax, it’s a joke.

          1. Technically, since Obama’s father was a Muslim then he is too. But he’s obviously not a practicing Muslim because he drinks alcohol, eats pork, and is extremely pro-gay. His true religion is Progressivism.

            1. is extremely pro-gay

              [cite needed]

              OTOH I can see him sucking a dick or two for the votes.

              1. Huh? Obama is the most pro-gay (not suggesting that’s a bad thing) president we’ve ever had. He ended Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, fought for gay marriage (once the polls shifted in favor), has made many gay appointments to his cabinet, and projected rainbow colors on the White House to celebrate the Supreme Court decision. Again, I have no complaints about these things. But they’re not the actions of a True Believer of a religion that routinely executes gay people for the crime of being gay.

              2. Only one or two?

      3. “At least he believes in something”

        So do a lot of Atheists, at lot of them seem to have a “God substitute”. Read some of the things Frank Drake from SETI wrote about ET. He even suggested that ancient ETs might even be able to teach us the secret to eternal life. Ray Kurzweil talks about robots and AI like they’re going to create a literal heaven on Earth complete with eternal life.

        Others put faith in government, or Gaia, or any number of other things.

        I wonder if human beings are simply predisposed to having a faith in a higher power, and when that faith is directed towards a god then they direct it elsewhere.

        1. So do a lot of Atheists, at lot of them seem to have a “God substitute”.

          The problem is definitional. Many people call themselves atheists when they really mean “not interested in traditional/mainstream religions.”

          Much like some Republicans and Democrats insist on calling themselves “libertarians.”

        2. The god gene? Yeah, could be. I don’t have it so I don’t know what all the fuss is about.

        3. I agree. Humans want to believe in something. In Black Rock City I saw this expressed in myriad ways, often just a belief in man and technology.

        4. Or idiot-reductionist Dawkins’ Panspermia fetish.

    4. When a candidate goes into a campaign saying they despise most of the electorate, it is not conducive to winning 50%+1 over.

    5. There will be a Scientologist before there is an avowed Atheist.

      No there won’t. 70 percent of Americans don’t even think scientology is a real religion.

      1. Only 70%?

        1. That’s a retarded poll that I laughed at when I saw it and that no one should take seriously. You want to know the question they asked to reach that conclusion? They asked people “If a professor at your school crashes his car and runs away from the scene of the accident, is that person more likely to be a) an atheist, b) a Christian, or c) a rapist.” The most people said ‘an atheist,’ but that doesn’t mean they find atheists less trustworthy. It could just as easily mean they rightfully concluded there are a shitload more atheist professors than rapist professors and that the odds of an individual being a rapist are really low.

          It’s one of the dumbest questions I’ve ever seen in my life, and I’m amazed that gets passed off as legitimate social science.

          1. From the link:

            Richard is 31 years old. On his way to work one day, he accidentally
            backed his car into a parked van. Because pedestrians were watching, he got out
            of his car. He pretended to write down his insurance information. He then tucked
            the blank note into the van’s window before getting back into his car and driving
            away.
            Later the same day, Richard found a wallet on the sidewalk. Nobody was
            looking, so he took all of the money out of the wallet. He then threw the wallet in
            a trash can.

            and

            Richard is 31 years old. He has a rare inherited medical condition. This
            leads him to have dry, flaky skin and produce excess mucus. His skin often flakes
            off at embarrassing times, and he almost always has a dripping nose and phlegm
            in his throat.
            On his way to work one day, Richard was scratching his itchy shoulder.
            Some of the dry skin that flaked off caused him to sneeze, and some snot ended up
            on his tie. He failed to notice that the phlegm got on his tie. He wore this dirty tie
            through an entire work day.

            1. I am Richard’s colon.

              1. I am Richard’s colon.

                I get cancer, I kill Richard.

            2. Oh my lord, I can’t not read this in Stanley Parable Narrator voice.

        2. If Atheists are as immoral as most people believe then why aren’t prisons full of them? Instead, they’re full of True Believers who knew what they were doing was wrong (according to their religion) but did it anyway.

          1. “The question I get asked by religious people all the time is, without God, what’s to stop me from raping all I want? And my answer is: I do rape all I want. And the amount I want is zero. And I do murder all I want, and the amount I want is zero. The fact that these people think that if they didn’t have this person watching over them that they would go on killing, raping rampages is the most self-damning thing I can imagine. I don’t want to do that. Right now, without any god, I don’t want to jump across this table and strangle you. I have no desire to strangle you. I have no desire to flip you over and rape you. You know what I mean?”

            -Penn Jillette

            1. Maybe God is so powerful He can control Penn Jillete without his knowledge.

              1. Yeah. That’s it.

    6. I was going to say the exact opposite. Atheists are a kinder people in general, we never repudiate others for their beliefs. And sense we don’t spend an entire lifetime judging others and measuring
      the authenticity of all the Gods in the world, we have enough goodwill towards man to fill every religious receptacle on the planet. With that kind of time on our hands, we tend to think of real human issues and not an abstract to a hypothesis we believe we are entitled to– “afterlife” . The audacity of that belief is man’s eternal or one might say ” internal ” inherent conceit. Then again, if it is the driving force that gets you out of bed every morning… I am genuinely happy for you and your peace of mind. Truly.

        1. Hell, half the atheist on this board can’t even talk about religion or religious people without coming off as a condescending prick.

          1. Perhaps some of us have run into one too many Johns.

            1. Well SM, there are some religious organizations out there that help prostitutes get off the street.

              1. I DON’T NEED NO PIMP!!11!

          2. Unfortunately, the only time we talk about it is when someone is shoving their religious beliefs onto others.

      1. Atheists are a kinder people in general, we never repudiate others for their beliefs.

        I’m an atheist, but so are Richard Dawking and Bill Maher. And I know who would get booed over their views in some hypothetical Great Atheist Gathering.

  9. What the fuck, how much worse could it get?

  10. Gary, to Stan: Look, maybe us Mormons do believe in crazy stories that make absolutely no sense, and maybe Joseph Smith did make it all up, but I have a great life, and a great family, and I have the Book of Mormon to thank for that. The truth is, I don’t care if Joseph Smith made it all up, because what the church teaches now is loving your family, being nice and helping people. And even though people in this town might think that’s stupid, I still choose to believe in it. All I ever did was try to be your friend, Stan, but you’re so high and mighty you couldn’t look past my religion and just be my friend back. You’ve got a lot of growing up to do, buddy. Suck my balls.

    Cartman: Damn. That kid is cool, huh?

  11. I couldn’t care less what religion a candidate espouses. If he advocates policies with which I disagree, I’m not voting for him. If I agree with his politics, I’ll vote for him even if he adheres to a sect that thinks I’m destined for eternal perdition.

    People who believe that candidates of a particular faith represent a link in some grand, global conspiracy are idiots.

    1. So you don’t care about the base principles upon which the person bases their reasoning?

      I do.

      1. Religious belief is a concession to irrationality, the antithesis of reason. If we were to insist that candidates’ beliefs had to be consistently rational, we would vote for no one.

        1. Some people (like Tony for example) say the same thing about those of us who base our reasoning on things like the Non Aggression Principle and Natural Rights.

          If one person’s religion says they have a duty to murder non-believers, while another person’s religion says they should accept non-believers, would you still not give a shit about their religion?

          1. Islam says to kill all the infidels but a lot of people who are nominally Muslim just ignore that part.

            I think the teachings of Islam are bad enough that it guarantees more Muslims are going to be crazy compared to Christians, but that still tells us nothing about individuals. An individual Muslim can be much more reasonable than an individual Christian, so the supposed ideals of a religion tell us nothing about a single, particular person who we would be voting for since they might not hold to the fundamentals of their own alleged faith.

            1. Islam says to kill all the infidels but a lot of people who are nominally Muslim just ignore that part.

              You do realize that ISIS has more popular support than you would like to believe, don’t you? I agree that many Muslims are not murderous, nor do they wish ill upon non-believers, but many are inwardly cheering ISIS on.

              1. The vast majority of Muslims are still anti-ISIS. I’m very anti-Islam and think it’s a terrible religion, so I would not be surprised by distressingly high support for ISIS, even in western nations like Britain.

                Still, even the vast majority of Muslims in the Middle East hate ISIS since most Muslims are not Salafists and certainly aren’t militant Salafists. When you say ‘more popular support than you would like to believe,’ you’re still only talking about like 10% popularity. It’s nowhere close to a majority or anything, although the percentage who do support suicide bombings is frighteningly high.

            2. Please cite the passage in the Qur’an that instructs Muslims to kill all infidels. I’ve owned a Qur’an for years but somehow must have missed that verse.

              1. There are a number of passages in the koran that instructs Muslims to wage war against unbelievers, to use them as slaves, etc etc. The fact that you claim to own a copy of the koran but have never seen these passages makes me think you should open your koran and actually read instead of just owning one.

                1. There are a lot of fucked up verses in the Koran, but nowhere is there a blanket general command to kill all non believers. There’s a lot of Islamic law on how non-Muslim groups are to be treated in society, which wouldn’t be necessary if the plan was to just kill them all. In a lot of places the Muslims conquered in their initial wave of expansion, most of the population didn’t even convert to Islam until centuries later. None of this justifies the bad parts of the religion, but it’s simply not accurate to say that the Koran demands that all non-Muslims be killed.

                  1. Fine, let me rephrase: It says kill all the infidels unless they submit to the authority of Islam, as the quoted passages below state.

                    So they do give you an option – live under rule by Islamic conquerors, convert to Islam, or die. And that is the way that pretty much every Muslim empire behaved until Islam fell behind the West and was no longer capable of waging constant wars of conquest.

                    1. That is, for the most part, true. One qualifier I’ll add is that critics of Islam will often present verses that are specifically referring to one particular dispute early Muslims had with a certain group and try to present it as if it’s talking about how Muslims are supposed to interact with all non-Muslims, but in general it is correct that non-Muslims are supposed to accept Muslim domination or convert. There were some Muslim dynasties in the Middle Ages that weren’t too concerned with military expansion, at least in certain time periods, but up until the Ottomans began to decline there were Muslim empires waging offensive war. Then again, that was pretty normal at the time. Christian empires waged a lot of aggressive wars against each other and non-Christian nations in the Middle Ages, and between about 1500-1900 you have pretty much continuous aggression against non-Christian peoples in many different parts of the world (as well as many wars with each other). This wasn’t always for purely or explicitly religious purposes, but the same is true of a lot of Islamic wars that many seem to think were always totally 100% religiously-motivated.

                    2. All in all, the bad parts of Islam make it easy for its followers to believe in or do some terrible shit, but I don’t think it’s impossible that there will be a day (even it’s hundreds of years from now) when virtually all Muslims reject those most heinous parts, just as there aren’t too many Jews or Christians who think slavery is ok or that it’s ok for children to be stoned to death for disrespecting their parents.

                    3. Overall I agree with your points. I don’t think positive reformation within Islam is impossible and I think that if you looked at Catholicism 700 years ago you would have thought it was an unsalvageable religion. There is some hope because of people like Malala Yousafzai or Maajid Nawaz, so hopefully we see more people like them in the future.

              2. 2:191 And kill them wherever you find them and expel them from wherever they have expelled you, and fitnah [Persecution] is worse than killing. And do not fight them at al-Masjid al- Haram until they fight you there. But if they fight you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers.
                2:192 And if they cease, then indeed, God is Forgiving and Merciful.
                2:193 Fight them until there is no [more] fitnah [Persecution] and [until] worship is for God. But if they cease, then there is to be no aggression except against the oppressors.

                If they don’t yield to Islam they are to be killed. You can either live under Islamic supremacy willingly or you can die.

                The Koran actively encourages offensive military action:

                Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But God knoweth, and ye know not. (2:216)

                But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity, then open the way for them: for God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. (9:5)

                So you can either become a Muslim, submit to Muslim supremacy, or die. I guess you therefore have three choices, if you can call them that.

                1. That’s not even getting into the Hadith. A lot of the really violent, terrible shit is in the Hadith rather than the Koran. Examples:

                  Uhud commanded the Apostles archers. He was killed in the battle of Yemen as a martyr. Abu was present at all of the Apostle’s battles and died in Byzantine territory as a martyr. Mu’adh was present at every raid. He was killed at Badr as a martyr. Mu’awwidh, his brother, shared the same glory. Umara was at every battle and died a martyr in Yemen. As’ad died before Badr when the Prophet’s mosque was being built. The Apostle put Amr in command of the rearguard. He died at Uhud as a martyr. Abdallah led many raids and was slain as a martyr at Muta. He was one of Muhammad’s commanders. Khallad fought at Badr, Uhud, and Khandaq. He was martyred fighting the [Jewish] Qurayza. The Apostle said that he would have the reward of two martyrs.
                  Ishaq:208

                  That’s a shitload of dying and martyrdom and this comes from active, offensive military campaigns.

                  1. Exactly. The vast majority of the stuff people point to as proof that Muslims are radicals are found in the Hadiths, not the Qur’an. Most of what’s written in the Qur’an is pretty boring and uncontroversial stuff, especially when you consider it was written by a bunch of tribal camel herders. The protections for women written in the Qur’an are amazingly advanced for their time and have no real parallel in Western law, even to this day.

                2. If they don’t yield to Islam they are to be killed. You can either live under Islamic supremacy willingly or you can die.

                  So, it’s just like the state?

            3. Hey I’m sure some individual NAZIs were very nice guys, maybe they only got involved in the movement because of the fancy uniforms, but even so I still don’t see how I could vote for one.

          2. No, because only a person with a predisposition to actually murder others of a different persuasion?i.e., a radical?will follow through with that supposed duty. Everyone else will find any number of ways to rationalize the requirement away, so as to enable themselves to remain comfortably ensconced in their comfortable cocoon. Which is what religionists of every stripe do every single day.

            1. In their cultural cocoon is what I meant to say.

        2. Religion is not irrational. Rather, it is based on two things absent from irreligious philosophy: these are some rather different starting premises and special knowledge sine intersubjectivity. The same rational logic employed by rational irreligionists is employed by honest religious folk. It’s just that the religionists have some different starting premises and some add datums not present in the irreligious scheme. Irrationality is a common human error that is exhibitted by people claiming adherence to every philosophical orientation, but honest, uncrasy (so like everything but Mormonism, Islam, Pentecostalism and a few others) religion employs in ideal the same rational, reality based logical methods as does irreligion. It is entirely possible for two honest, intelligent, and equally rational persons to come to totally different and even completely opposite conclusions based on the same information.

          1. Like me, for one, I stick with the premise that God does not pop in for a chat with people, that if somebody (such as myself) finds himself confronted with God, telling him something or other, the only admissible first response is to deny belief that it really is God talking to him. Similarly, if I hear anybody going off about how God said this or that to him, the wisest response is to affirm that the speaker is either delusional or lying. But other people start out with the assumption that God does in fact pop in for chats, that it’s one of the probable things that occurs in this world. So they start out generally assuming that such experiences are superficially valid, that it really is God talking to whomever. This is based on logical evaluation of their own experiences and evidence from the accounts of others considered credible. They are not fundamentally irrational; they just start out imagining the world as a rather different place.

      2. Besides, a person’s religion has little or no true bearing on his day-to-day beliefs anyway. Both my mother and I might identify as Lutheran, but our political, philosophical, and social beliefs have essentially nothing in common.

        1. “Besides, a person’s religion has little or no true bearing on his day-to-day beliefs anyway. Both my mother and I might identify as Lutheran, but our political, philosophical, and social beliefs have essentially nothing in common.”

          Bullcrap. Their lack of adherence to a common philosophy is in fact a characteristic of Lutheranism. I know this, both from studying it and from that much of my family was Lutheran. The Lutherans are another religion like Anglican Caffyism that places no political or moral constraints upon adherents. It’s barely a fucking religion at all. Most atheists I know are more religiously inclined than the Lutherans. What a fucking joke. So yes, as in every other case, the religion does inform behavior–it’s just you’re first example is of adherents to a religion that notoriously fails to encourage any sort of philosophical unity amongst “followers”. May as well call it the church of wanking jerkoffs, being as it is a more practically apt description than “Lutheranism” (What the dickens is that supposed to mean anway? It certainly doesn’t and never did mean trodding along all faithful to the dicta of das dickliche Doktorlein von Erfurt.

    2. More or less this.

      A politician’s religious belief system is only concerning insofar as the state gives them the power to use it to violate the rights of others.

      *cocks ceremonial colander to a jaunty angle and walks of*

  12. What about the chances of a sequel to Battlefield Earth?

    1. Hubbard didn’t write it in the first place, so being dead is no barrier to a sequel. I hear Brian Herbert is between projects.

      1. Curse you for invoking Brian Herbert!

        I wish he would get eaten by Shai Hulud.

      2. SF,
        Who did write it/what’s the story behind your statement? I’ve read BE a couple of times, and have read a few online articles, etc. about it, but I’ve never seen that assertion.

        /just curious

    2. Can it have even more unnecessary Dutch angles than the original?

  13. Juliette Lewis for President

  14. Weisberg

    If my last name were Weisberg I’d be hesitant about declaring that people of certain minority religious denominations should be precluded from holding public office.

    Just saying.

  15. The paranoia over the nominal religious beliefs of candidates is vastly overblown. The dirty little truth so few people are willing to admit is that people find creative ways to justify their beliefs, preferences, and biases with their preferred religion. Seldom, if ever, does one’s religion truly inform one’s real-world stances. Most people would be just as comfortable promulgating their pet bigotries as Muslims or animists as they are doing so as fundamentalist Mormons or Southern Baptists. The religion through which they express said biases is largely an accident of birth?geography and culture.

    1. Seldom, if ever, does one’s religion truly inform one’s real-world stances.

      Wrong. The ideals of a religion do mean that believers are MORE LIKELY, it’s just that individuals have personal autonomy not to do so.

      What I mean by that is that if someone is a Baptist, he is more likely to be anti-gay marriage than someone who is an atheist, although individual Baptists might break with the religion on that issue.

      If someone is a Muslim, he is more likely to think it’s okay to kill apostates than if someone is a Jew. Most Muslims still don’t think it’s okay to kill apostates, but the teachings of the religion do result in far more would-be apostate killers among Muslims than among other religions.

      1. So what? Are you implying that if someone nominally adheres to a particular religion, we should assume he necessarily holds the same views as radicals, who are nothing more than everyday assholes who find it convenient to don the mantle of religion when justifying their actions?

        If someone believes it’s acceptable to kill apostates, I don’t care if he’s a Muslim, a Catholic, a Zionist Jew, or a red atheist, I’m not voting for him. It’s his specific belief to which I take exception. The origin of the belief is irrelevant.

        1. So what? Are you implying that if someone nominally adheres to a particular religion, we should assume he necessarily holds the same views as radicals, who are nothing more than everyday assholes who find it convenient to don the mantle of religion when justifying their actions?

          What I said:

          What I mean by that is that if someone is a Baptist, he is more likely to be anti-gay marriage than someone who is an atheist, although individual Baptists might break with the religion on that issue.

          If someone is a Muslim, he is more likely to think it’s okay to kill apostates than if someone is a Jew. Most Muslims still don’t think it’s okay to kill apostates, but the teachings of the religion do result in far more would-be apostate killers among Muslims than among other religions.

          I think I answered your criticism in the original post.

          1. But you didn’t. You say that it’s more likely that someone from a particular faith will espouse a particular belief or policy. My question is why does that matter when it comes to my decision whether or not to vote for him? How should that probability affect my voting patterns? I contend it should not. If the candidate expresses a belief or policy I find objectionable, I don’t vote for him. Surely whether he chooses to justify that particular tenet with religious dogma or not is beside the point for an informed citizen voting on the basis of fact rather than emotion?

            1. In the world of modern politics I think Irish has a point. Most politicians make a sincere effort to avoid expressing specific policies or beliefs or if they do, they change them regularly based on their current audience. So how do you grade them?

              It’s shitty, but unfortunately true. Even those like Rand Paul, who has espoused a very specific set of beliefs, has changed his tune a few times based on what he thought would make his polling improve. I believe that he would probably return to form once elected however.

              1. So our solution is to settle for the next-best thing and rely on a baldly flawed heuristic of looking at their religious beliefs? I don’t think it serves the cause of libertarianism well to be seen acting on latent religious bigotry in such fashion.

                Then again, I’m not voting for any of these guys. I might have taken another look at Rand Paul if he’d had the balls to try a third-party run, but at this juncture, it would be pointless to waste my vote on him.

                1. No. It should all be considered in context.

            2. You say that it’s more likely that someone from a particular faith will espouse a particular belief or policy. My question is why does that matter when it comes to my decision whether or not to vote for him?

              Thought experiment: Let’s say a Southern Baptist and an Atheist are running for president against each other. Throughout the course of the campaign, neither one articulates a stance on gay marriage (difficult to believe, but go with it for a second). Let’s also say that maybe gay marriage is a really big issue for you. Which one is more likely to be pro gay marriage?

              It’s possible that a candidate’s religious views might be useful in making an educated guess about what their views on some issues might be if they haven’t clearly articulated one. It’s not perfect, and one would be an idiot to base one’s vote entirely on the candidate’s religion, but it could be an extra data point to consider in the absence of concrete positions.

          2. To reframe the question a bit: An African-American male is far more likely to have been arrested in his lifetime than a Caucasian male. Is this something that should factor into my calculus when deciding whether to vote for a presidential candidate? Or should I rather ignore the color of his skin and instead of focus on what he actually says and promotes?

            1. Is this something that should factor into my calculus when deciding whether to vote for a presidential candidate?

              I never said this. You’re putting words in my mouth. I explicitly said that people are to be judged as individuals, but that people who belong to certain religious sects are MORE LIKELY to behave in certain ways.

              This does not mean we should assume an individual Muslim wants to kill apostates, merely that we should acknowledge that Muslims in the aggregate are more likely to support that than Jews would support it. I’m arguing that we should accurately criticize Islam AS AN IDEOLOGY for the damage it does but that we shouldn’t assume individual Muslims adhere to all the bad aspects of that ideology.

              I am not supporting bigotry against Muslims. I am not supporting not voting for an individual Muslim because other Muslims do bad things. At no point have I said that.

              1. Good, and I wasn’t saying you were. I simply wanted you to clarify your statements, because they could be construed by some to imply that. Certainly there are people on this board who do seem to think that we should make voting decisions based on religion, and that disturbs me. Then again, they also seem to think we should be bombing the shit out of Iran just ‘cuz. It’s hard for me to take them seriously as libertarians.

          3. Most Muslims still don’t think it’s okay to kill apostates

            There’s so many muslims who want to kill apostates that that’s really not one to put in the ‘win’ column even if it were true, and I’m not so sure it is true since….

            78% of Pakistanis support killing apostates

            One third of British Muslims believe anyone who leaves Islam should be killed

            at least as of 2010
            84% of Egyptian Muslims support the death penalty for leaving Islam
            86% of Jordanian Muslims support the death penalty for leaving Islam
            30% of Indonesian Muslims support the death penalty for leaving Islam
            76% of Pakistanis support death the penalty for leaving Islam
            51% of Nigerian Muslims support the death penalty for leaving Islam

            1. One third of British Muslims believe anyone who leaves Islam should be killed

              This is not true. 37% of British Muslims between 16 and 24 support death for apostasy, according to the BBC. Overall, the number is much lower because older Muslims are far less likely to support it.

              There are individual Muslim countries where huge percentages support death for apostasy, but if you do the math it comes out to about 500-600 million Muslims who support that out of 1.6 billion on Earth. That’s a disturbingly high number, but it’s still a minority.

              1. It’s a pretty fucking BIG majority, Irish. There’s no army that can be fielded that has the numbers needed to defend anyone against 500 to 600 million murderous twits.

                1. It’s a minority of Muslims because it’s about 1/3rd of all muslims. And they’re not an army, they’re a group of crazy people spread out over millions of miles of land area, most of whom hate each other and would rather kill Muslim heretics than kill non-Muslims.

                  The people who are threatened by Muslim crazies are by and large other Muslims who have to live next door to these nutcases. There’s not going to be an army of 500 million marching on Vienna.

      2. That fails to explain why so many 7th Day Adventists are flying planes into buildings.

        1. I wouldn’t want someone who believes the End Times are here in charge of nuclear weapons.

          A substantial number of Christians believe in Biblical prophecy and that Israel will bring about the Second Coming of Christ by being attacked by Russia and the other Arab states, leading to Armageddon.

          I can totally picture Mike Huckabee, who creepily refers to all of the Levant as “Judea”, believing that.

          1. I agree with you, precisely because someone who holds such eschatological beliefs tends to favor policies I consider inimical to the best interests of the United States. (I was raised in such a subculture, so I’m very familiar with their teachings.) If someone tries to justify his interventionist foreign policy on the basis of biblical prophecy, I’m not voting for him. Not because he’s a Christian but because he’s deluded and possibly unhinged, and he’s likely to get us involved in a war that could prove catastrophic.

          2. Joking aside, I have postulated that religions that view… nay, revere death and believe very strongly in being rewarded in an afterlife by doing it are a dangerous lot.

            Re: the controversy over the 9/11 hijackers being brave/not brave, I come down hard on not brave, because they believed in their hearts, that after an millisecond of “oh shit!” they would be rewarded with 72 virgins for all eternity.

            When those guys boarded those planes that day, they weren’t going to go kill themselves, they were going to the fucking club. How ‘brave’ is that?

            1. Any guy who wants to have sex with perpetual virgins has probably never had sex at all.

              1. Now imagine how anxious he was to get there.

  16. The Constitution makes a nifty little “bible”. It’s got everything: history, morality, consistency, unambiguity and proper grammar.

    Not sure why it doesn’t get more play.

    1. You forgot tithing

      1. And tithing.

        The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

        Gee, such a short sentence, though.

        1. Can’t have a proper religion without tithing.

          Sounds good. Where do I sign up?

          1. See? This is the best part! You can’t! This particular bible was written by slavers like 100 years ago! It’s been banned in all 57 states.

            Sorry.

          2. Too late, the unofficial New Testament has been the going thing for a long time. Tithing has been greatly expanded, and the Bill of Ten Commandments is an anachronism.

            1. We should totally form a splinter sect based on the original text. Our very own Reformation.

              1. Oh, great. Here comes a new subpoena.

                HE’S KIDDING! WE LOVES US SOME NEW AGE STATISM!

      2. People tend to think of tithing as ten percent of income, but in fact the Old Testament imposed financial obligations amounting in aggregate to at least 25 percent of income?and that was religious contributions alone. I wonder how Americans who constantly whine about paying too many taxes would feel if they knew that.

        1. Whining? You mean instead of thanking the thieves?

          I think most people would acknowledge that god doesn’t have jackbooted thugs to come and arrest you for not tithing. Just a slight difference.

        2. I wonder how Americans who constantly whine about paying too many taxes would feel if they knew that

          I doubt it would change too many minds, unless you were also saying that separation of church and state should be abolished, and all of that tax revenue should go toward building an explicitly religious community. That is, after all, what the Biblical tithing is about.

          I find it strange that you think tithing and taxation have some sort of equivalency in the minds of believers.

  17. Maintaining zero interest rates for so long is creating a scenario in which containing risks “becomes virtually impossible,” according to an analysis from a former Fed official.

    Huh, just six months ago, this position was “controversial”, only believed by free-market crackpots and gold-peanuts.

    In the analysis, he paints a grim scenario should the Fed not choose to start hiking rates soon, calling the current scenario “the case of the missing liftoff.” The unemployment rate, currently at 5.1 percent, equals the 5.5 percent rate that the Congressional Budget Office considered full employment back in February

    Sure, if by ‘full employment’ you mean not counting the kajillions that have left the workforce, and all those part time jobs…

    A report also issued over the summer contended that the Fed’s monthly bond-buying program, or quantitative easing, that brought its balance sheet past $4.5 trillion basically failed to generate the central bank’s economic objectives.

    Again, very recently, a controversial opinion only held by crackpots and goldbugs.

    http://www.cnbc.com/2015/09/24…..omist.html

    1. I despise the fact that people working part time are counted as “employed” for the sake of the unemployment statistics. If you’re having to work multiple jobs just to pull in enough money to pay rent every month, you’re effectively fucking unemployed, as far as I am concerned. You definitely shouldn’t be counted as a success story for the purpose of the statistics.

      1. “I despise the fact that people working part time are counted as “employed” for the sake of the unemployment statistics”

        Not really for the sake of “unemployment statistics” but for the sake of justifying FED policy and feeding the stock bubble.

        Well until recently, before the FED ignored it and decided to keep interest rates at 0 despite their own bullshit numbers showing “full employment”

    2. “Again, very recently, a controversial opinion only held by crackpots and goldbugs”

      Not only that but CNBC is hive central of “crockpot and goldbug” hate.

      1. Oh yeah. Was watching Scott Nations debate Schiff the other day.

        Say what you will about Schiff, he’s successfully called every singe fed hedge on raising interest rates while Scott Nations predicted back in May that anyone who thinks there’ll be a market correction was flat out wrong.

        What I like about Schiff is he cuts through the whackbat aspect of markets, where whackbat is CNBCs bread and butter.

    3. They’re called McJobs, and they are only to be discussed when a hated member of the BOOOSH family is in power. Get with the program.

  18. “And if someone suggests he’ll just be a puppet of the Sea Org, the pundits will laugh and remind their readers that there was a time when President Ahmed Mohamed’s creed was considered unsavory too.”

    What? No reference to Kennedy’s allegiance to the anti-Christ Pope over American interests?

  19. The vast Xenu-funded psychiatry-pscychology conspiracy will keep a Scientologist out of the White House.

    1. Yes, the Scientologists are vehement enemies of psychiatry, and somehow believe that psychiatrists have a lot of power on this earth. If you knew as many psychiatrists as I do, you’d have a hard time believing they even have the power to turn on a flashlight.

      1. They can commit people. And being committed has no judicial review.

        Also there was an article today at reason about an addict who died in prison from lack of treatment because a psychiatrist at the prison signed a paper misdiagnosis his withdrawals as mental illness.

        Killing and imprisoning people seems pretty powerful to me.

        1. That’s not why the scientologists hate psychiatrists.

          IIRC a panel of psychiatrists basically laughed L Ron Hubbard’s attempts to claim a military pension due to disability out of court. L Ron Hubbard’s naval career was marked by poor judgement, grandiose failures and scary behavior.

          As a result of his instability he was relieved of his command (a PT boat) and given a job where he would have superiors closely supervising his day to day work. That’s how he spent the rest of the war.

          After he left the Navy, he tried to claim that his relief was the product of injuries suffered in action. Out of greed and a desire to back up his story, he applied for a disability pension. Since the only combat L Ron Hubbard had seen was the attack he launched on an underwater ore deposit in or near Puget Sound, and the ass reaming he got from his superiors when he decided to shell a Mexican island to give his men gunnery training, the claim was denied.

          He then went on to found scientology, which always had a core premise that it would grant its followers self mastery to a degree that shrinks would be unnecessary.

          He really was a pathetic creature.

          1. That’s really interesting about where Hubbard’s motivation comes from, I’d never heard it before. Thanks for posting it.

            1. Yes, thank you for that reminder, Tarran.

        2. Where in the USA do you know of that has psychiatric committment with no judicial review? Every single committment process I know of (and they are quite different from state to state) automatically triggers a writ of Habeus Corpus hearing, and some also have a probable cause determination hearing prior to that.

          Working in an ER I constantly hear from families who are distraught that their family member was hospitalized but released by the court prior to being stabilized. Whether or not you feel that is appropriate is one thing, but it’s certainly not the case that all-powerful psychiatrists were able to proceed without interference by the courts.

          Per the unfortunate death, misdiagnoses happen in medicine, and they are certainly not restricted to psychiatrists. As terrible as this event sounds, I wouldn’t conflate it with someone having extraordinary power that needs a religion to counteract.

          1. I may or may not get my information about how committing someone works from TV and movies…

        3. And being committed has no judicial review.

          Not true. Involuntary commitment is subject to judicial review. There is a court order for the commitment.

  20. Alright, so “Trump Week” gives way to “Kim Davis Week” gives way to “Religion Week.” Fantastic. Hard to say which I prefer less. Aren’t there some cop nutpunch stories or nanny-statist stories to publish instead? Kulturkampf is so damn tiresome.

    1. +1 Macomb County Jail.

      1. No more of that, plz! I am still doubled over from that mule kick to the wedding tackle.

      2. +1 Macomb County Jail.

        It’s not enough! I need more! Nothing seems to satisfy!

    2. About time for the millenials to rotate back into the obsession of the week, no?

  21. The day a Scientologist is the president of the United States is the day Tom Cruise exits the closet.

    1. You mean the closet in which you’ve kept him bound and gagged all these years?

  22. We the man-animals of the United States, in order to make-form a more good-perfect Union-group,, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility-peace, provide for the common-regular security- defense, promote the general welfare-health, and secure the favor-blessings of liberty-freedom to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution-law for the United States-region of America.

  23. Hey, if we can get lectured by some tin-pot god-talker from Argentina, why not?

  24. Didn’t you know? Calling your “ideology” a “religion” places you beyond any criticism. If people want to engage in political debate with you, you can just scream “bigotry” and “intolerance”!

    1. Calling your “ideology” a “religion” places you beyond any criticism.

      Hardly. It doesn’t get you out of baking a wedding cake either.

  25. So what is the violent crime rate of the various flavors of practicing Christians vs atheists, Muslims, nonpracticing?

    I have a funny feeling that Christians on average are better people.

    1. I have a funny feeling that Christians on average are better people white.

      Thought I’d throw you a bone.

      1. “Christians on average are better people white.”

        Not really

        “A comprehensive demographic study of more than 200 countries finds that there are 2.18 billion Christians of all ages around the world, representing nearly a third of the estimated 2010 global population of 6.9 billion. Christians are also geographically widespread ? so far-flung, in fact, that no single continent or region can indisputably claim to be the center of global Christianity.

        A century ago, this was not the case. In 1910, about two-thirds of the world’s Christians lived in Europe, where the bulk of Christians had been for a millennium, according to historical estimates by the Center for the Study of Global Christianity.2 Today, only about a quarter of all Christians live in Europe (26%). A plurality ? more than a third ? now are in the Americas (37%). About one in every four Christians lives in sub-Saharan Africa (24%), and about one-in-eight is found in Asia and the Pacific (13%).”

        I thought that was common knowledge. Most “Christians” in the world are browner-than-average-folk. If you were to also factor in the relative ‘degree’ of religiosity, it would make Whitey almost entirely irrelevant.

        1. I assumed he was referring to Christians in America. Of course if we look at ethnic and racial breakdowns worldwide, whites will not be the majority.

          1. “I assumed he was referring to Christians in America.”

            We have Black, Latino and Asian Christians here as well…..

            I even went to catholic school with some of them.

            1. We have Black, Latino and Asian Christians here as well….

              I can tell you right now, without even googling it, Asian Christians are going to be your highest crime population. Period. The end.

              *drops microphone*

          2. Its not any more correct even if you’re talking about “Americans only”

            The split is ~60/40, white/nonwhite, if you treat “Christian” as some kind of monolithic pop (which isn’t even remotely sane either)

            I don’t know what you’d need to ‘assume’, since its not clear he has a point to begin with.

            1. Plus Corning mentioned atheists who are like 90% white people.

              1. “”A comprehensive study by David Campbell and Harvard University professor Robert Putnam found that religious Americans are three to four times more likely than their nonreligious counterparts to “work on community projects, belong to voluntary associations, attend public meetings, vote in local elections, attend protest demonstrations and political rallies, and donate time and money to causes — including secular ones.”

                The study also found that religious Americans are less tolerant than secular Americans of free speech, dissent, and several other measures of tolerance.[28]“”

                On that latter point, I don’t think the study included College Campuses in its attempt at ‘comprehensiveness’

            2. I don’t know what you’d need to ‘assume’, since its not clear he has a point to begin with.

              First fuck you gilmore

              Second we get a lot of statistics looking at racial and economic back grounds of violent criminals. Why not look at religion?

              As of late I have been thinking about the ideas brought up in this video:

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUPxRYWpglQ

              and wondering if a secular libertarian society can even exist without Christianity.

              Certainly as America seems to distance itself from Christianity it can be argued that government is becoming less lesse fair and more authoritarian.

              1. “I don’t know what you’d need to ‘assume’, since its not clear he has a point to begin with.

                First fuck you gilmore’

                My comment was referring to “Nonstopdrivel”.

                You really do go out of your way to be obtuse.

                1. “You really do go out of your way to be obtuse.”

                  Maybe I am just a bad writer.

                  1. possibly. in this case you seem to have missed that i was actually making some of the same points you were… before you did, even.

                2. My comment was referring to “Nonstopdrivel”.

                  You really do go out of your way to be obtuse.

                  Maybe it was just a general feeling JC has about you, not relating to any particular comment.

                  First of all, Fuck you Gilmore.

                  1. “a general feeling JC has about you”

                    JC?

                    Jesus loves me, this i know.

                    1. Joshua Corning. Some of us show our age by actually remembering Original Handles. Like how I still call PB shrike.

                    2. Totally changing my handle to JewsZeus Corning now

        2. I assumed he was referring to Christians in America. Of course if we look at ethnic and racial breakdowns worldwide, whites will not be the majority.

    2. Probably not, unless you account for race.

      1. You two are horrible.

    3. Depends how you count ‘crime’.

      Crime rates are pretty low in the Muslim world, as far as I know. Likely because of the cruel and unusual punishments you receive for committing them.

      Now, if you’re talking about ‘violence’…

      1. Admittedly practicing Christians Bush and Obama might fuck up any scale looking at christian violence vs other faith violence.

        1. In their defense, Jesus did say, “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34).

  26. So when I see Weisberg’s words “Scientology plus 125 years,” my first thought isn’t Ugh, electing Mitt Romney would have been like electing Tom Cruise. It’s this: If Scientology survives, how long will it be before one of its members mounts a credible run for the White House? Maybe in half a century the governor of Florida or California will be a follower of L. Ron Hubbard’s church, and with some celebrity endorsements in his pocket he’ll make a run for the Republican nomination. And if someone suggests he’ll just be a puppet of the Sea Org, the pundits will laugh and remind their readers that there was a time when President Ahmed Mohamed’s creed was considered unsavory too.

    And somehow in the mind of the non-Jewish libertarian this will be a better world. I just don’t get it.

  27. I read this editorial @ the NYT the other day where they basically said Republicans were horrible people for not accepting people of all religions as equal in God’s (and the constitution’s) eyes. The piece was titled, “The GOP’s Muslim Problem” =

    “The freedom of religion embedded in the First Amendment rules out the very idea of a religious test for public office, as John F. Kennedy so eloquently argued and then proved by becoming the first Catholic president.”

    Yet, i seem to recall there being little anxiety in the pages of the NYT when they discovered that there is little appetite for God Bothering among their fellow-travelers

    “Among those who identify themselves as liberal, almost half say they would not support a Mormon for president. ..To many Americans, Mormonism is a church with the soul of a corporation… .Moreover, Mormons are perceived to be unusually secretive….This attitude has fed anti-Mormon charges of secret and unholy rites…. some voters still confuse the Latter-day Saints with fundamentalist Mormon sects that continue to practice polygamy and child marriage… “

    That latter piece was NOT titled, “Liberals Mormon Problem”, surprisingly.

    1. To elaborate on what a commenter said above, I’d like to see people who otherwise would have voted Republican, who were deterred from voting for Romney because he was Mormon.

      1. Well Ron Paul is not a Mormon and i would have voted for him if he got republican nomination and I did not vote for Romney….

        I don’t know if that counts…I am pretty sure I would have wanted to vote for Ron Paul if he was alternate history Ron Paul who is just like our Ron Paul but only he was Mormon.

      2. The point of the quoted bits there was to point out that neither political party holds any Moral High Ground when it comes to their tolerance of outgroups.

        Oh, and also that the NYT is screamingly hypocritical, but that’s sort of a given.

    2. ..To many Americans, Mormonism is a church with the soul of a corporation…

      For a group of people who keep screaming in my fucking hear that “corporashuns aren’t peeple!” they sure keep treating them like one.

      They give them personalities, individualized sinister motive, incentives, morality… the whole ball of wax.

      And uhm, I don’t spend a lot of time sitting around the house thinking about Mormonism, but “to many Americans”… does he have a national poll on this statement?

      1. Does this author even realise that most churches are corporations? Although not all 501(c)(3) organizations are corporations, I have never encountered a church with 501(c)(3) status that was not also organized as a corporation.

      2. Its noted that the latter NYT piece was trying to actually suggest that Mormons “aint all that bad”

        But in the process, the writer had to provide a litany of ‘popular beliefs’ about them.

        Where he got his source-data, i don’t know. he wrote a book you can check

        “Kenneth Woodward, a contributing editor at Newsweek, is writing a book about American religion since 1950.”

        Its also notable that the same writer later had an unholy shitfit at the NYT for the way they treated the vatican vis a vis the sexual-abuse cover-ups.

        1. “Kenneth Woodward, a contributing editor at Newsweek, is writing a book about American religion since 1950.”

          Since 1950? You’d think with all that time, he could have at least finished a draft manuscript.

          1. Seriously. I looked on Amazon and while he has 2 books on religion already, i don’t think either of them were the one referenced in that 2007 piece.

  28. I’m ready for a Branch Davidian president!

    1. They’re all dead, Dave.

  29. Sometimes-Crazy-Person, Stephan Molyneux made this comment re: Ahmed and his hoax-clock project which i thought was sort of relevant =

    “Muslim student brings what appears to be a fake bomb to school on day after 9/11 – cries “bigotry” when school over-reacts”….”In solidarity, students should dress up as “Ghosts” on Martin Luther King day, and see how well that works for them”

    neither here nor there, but i thought that was cute.

  30. It is said the goal of the spiritual man is reunion with his creator. And the goal of the fundamentalist man is to help the spiritual man achieve his goal as soon as possible. Religion itself isn’t a problem. If one does perceive a God they could use the New Testament to perceive a God of love or the Old Testament to perceive a God to be feared and who commands them to kill unbelievers. Most people will interpret various scriptures to justify what they already are whether that’s good or bad. Whether we relate to a particular religion or believe in God or not a man might more properly be judged not by his religion but what he gets out of it because what he gets out of it is where his religion stops and he begins.

    1. Irie, Rasta

  31. “Perhaps Christianity and Judaism are merely more venerable and poetic versions of the same. But a few eons makes a big difference.”

    Musb said by someone with little familiarity with any of the religions discussed. Depending upon one’s initial premises, Christianity and Judaism may be conceived rationally. Mormonism and islam, however, require one to engage in huge leaps of nonsense between rational bits, such that initial premises vaguely comporting with reality make it impossible for one to approach any kind of rational conception of their mythologies. Islam goes so far as to say that Allah is beyond reason and so we must accept the authority of the prophet especially when what he’s teaching is clearly at odds with rational logic. One can entertain intellectual conceits of Christianity or Judaism, but important steps in one’s mental relations to Islam or Mormonism require a divorce from everything that characterises actual thought. It can’t even be logically rationalised after the fact. Of equal importance is that both religions were clearly as fuck fraudulent from the first and established by monstrous charlatans.

  32. Islam isn’t just a religion, it is a complete political system – in mainstream islamic doctrine as well as authoritative classic texts. Suggesting those who wouldn’t like an Islamic regime are bigoted is like implying those who would welcome a stalanist are prejudiced. It’s postjudiced.

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