biased against christians and others with historic faith?!

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biased against christians and others with historic faith?!

Unread postby rearlclay » Tue Apr 24, 2007 11:45 am

Dear Mr. Goldberg,

I absolutely loved your books, Bias, Arrogance, and 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America. I bought all 3 of them, and I don’t buy many books (usually I just read library copies). These books are masterfully written, chock full of evidence and reason, cogently argued, full of surprising but always manifestly true revelations, right on target, honest, funny, and just refreshing to read.

I was therefore thrilled to learn recently that you have a new book out and rushed to the library to check it out, expecting that it would be more of the same good stuff I relished in your earlier books. But I have been sadly disappointed and surprised. Yes, there are still a lot of the same penetrating insights and scathing skewering of cupidity and stupidity on both ends of the political spectrum. But I am amazed and alarmed and saddened to find also a profound misunderstanding of, and lack of appreciation of, the views and goals of what you refer to as “religious conservatives.”

Now that you’ve “seen the light” and made the perfectly sensible, rational journey from a bankrupt “liberalism” to conservatism, you appear to think that your chapter on Barry Goldwater and his libertarianism and economic/political conservatism and virulent opposition to what is now called “social conservatism” convincingly and irrefutably demonstrates that this “social conservatism” is an interloper and imposter. This is a huge and tragic misunderstanding! This “social conservatism,” this “religious conservatism,” has been an essential part of what is best about our nation and our government from the beginning, indeed was an essential part of what birthed this nation and has guided and shaped its development for its entire life. Even Jefferson, certainly not one of the most conspicuously religious of the founders, was moved to pen the immortal words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men.” Was Jefferson, to use your phrase, “imposing his [religious] view of morality” on the new nation, and on us today, by appealing to the “Creator” and postulating a “right to life” that governments are instituted to secure?!?

Was Lincoln “imposing his religious vision of morality” when he wrote and issued the Emancipation Proclamation to rid our nation of the scourge of slavery? Were the civil rights laws passed in the 60’s an “imposition of a religious vision of morality” because they were grounded in the “unalienable Rights” with which we have been “endowed by [our] Creator,” or because they were based on the religious (i.e., Christian) belief that “all men are created equal,” or because these laws were the result of the activism of mostly religious (mostly Christian) men and women?! There are a multitude of other examples of laws and movements and reforms in the history of our country which came out of religious, usually Christian, belief and activism. Are these all too an “imposition of a vision of morality?!”

The fact of the matter is ALL law HAS TO be derived from some moral vision and, in the broadest sense of the word, also a “religious” vision, even if it is the religion of the atheist, the humanist, and the secularist. It is also a fact beyond any reasonable dispute that virtually all of the laws of this nation for the last two hundred and thirty years have been based largely on the Judeo-Christian view of the world and man and morality, and I am astounded and dismayed that as a new conservative, you apparently do not understand that this has been the main reason that this country has become the tower of freedom and prosperity and power that it has become in the last two hundred years, and do not appreciate this, but seem determined for some mysterious reason to dismiss, denigrate, and banish any continuing Christian influence on our body politic today! Why?! Frankly, you sound in this most recent book when you speak of Christians (indeed of all believers of any historic religion) just like the rabid, hateful attackers of Christianity on the left that you so properly take to task elsewhere in this book and your others.

I am deeply disappointed in the things you are writing in this book. I feel like I’ve lost a friend and ally. I can only pray that, as you’ve found your way out of the wilderness and deception of liberalism, you will eventually also find your way out of the wilderness and deception of this hateful humanism and secularism and unthinking opposition to historic faith of all kinds, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or other.

“Religious conservatives” have the same right, and duty, to influence our affairs of state as any other group with its own worldview, and this “religious” (mostly Christian) influence has been largely responsible for making this the greatest, most free, most moral, most liberal (in the best sense of the word!), most successful by any measure, experiment in government and nation building in the history of the world. Not to understand this, to criticize and dismiss it, and to suggest that it should no longer be the case is folly on a level with all of the other kinds of folly that you so skillfully expose in liberalism.

Yours truly,

Roderick Clay
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biased against christians and others with historic faith?!

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Unread postby MrSinatra » Tue Apr 24, 2007 1:03 pm

first, THANK YOU for writing a civil post! this is a topic i want to get into more deeply... (i'm not Bernie btw)

i don't have time at the moment, but suffice it to say this... i don't think its "religious" people of any kind Bernie has a problem with, but rather a certain strain of "religious conservative" who is pat robertson like.

if you don't know what that means, it doesn't just mean "evangelical." it also means intolerant and narrow minded, and acting as if you have absolute moral certitude.

that isn't to say one can't have complete faith, but rather that they shouldn't extend their personal moral beliefs into imposing them on others.

also, this type of person may be unintentionally condescending in a way, as Bernie describes in his new book, when people say things to him such as "you're the first Jew i ever heard say that" or "...want to defend Israel."

anyway, more later...
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steve1633 wrote:if you havent realized yet that pp posts offer little in the way of intelligent discourse then youre dumber than i suspected, if its just easier to argue with someone like her then ya go ahead keep it up.
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Unread postby Cortese » Tue Apr 24, 2007 1:38 pm

Would you or Bernie consider evangelicals securing the necessary votes to have social issues, such as the definition of marriage, on the ballot for the people to decide as "imposing" their values upon others?

Me personally, I don't want the courts to decide those issues, I want the people to decide them. If the majority decides for or against those issues, so be it.
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Unread postby steve1633 » Tue Apr 24, 2007 5:44 pm

I think that religious groups (and really anyone who has a well defined world view or a tangible direction they'd like to see this nation move) has an obligation to attempt to impose their beliefs on us all. In my mind the purpose of American government is that all belief systems can attempt to impose themselves and allow the populace to moderate the imposition.

However, my one problem with the post is that religion is once again being credited as the great creator of this nation when in fact, I believe the opposite is largely true. The founding fathers were very very progressive in their religious views, none of them were particularly dogmatic to a certain faith and they all recognized the need for expression of all faiths. I would say that the fact that they were so loosely rooted in 'historical faith' that they were so able to create this nation. And as for what has made us so powerful over the last 2 centuries, it has certainly been the least religious (at least christian) things that have done this. First we have the elimination of the native population and the usurping of their furtile lands, then we have the institution of slavery which provided nearly free agriculture for early America, and lastly our unrelenting capitalism (which Jesus, who spoke for helping the poor and infirm and loving the least among you, would not have been a very effective participant in) that has allowed us to achieve economic power.

The only reason that 'christians' have had a large impact on our history is that our nation is made up mostly of people who refer to themselves as christian, true christianity has little influence on America's past, present or future.
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Unread postby John Gilchrist Lodge » Thu Apr 26, 2007 9:34 pm

"Little influence"? I disagree with that, 1633. You've swung too far the other way. While Deists/Theists and others have helped influence the inception of America, all of them have played a foundational role in its design.
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Unread postby MrSinatra » Fri Apr 27, 2007 2:17 am

Cortese wrote:Would you or Bernie consider evangelicals securing the necessary votes to have social issues, such as the definition of marriage, on the ballot for the people to decide as "imposing" their values upon others?

Me personally, I don't want the courts to decide those issues, I want the people to decide them. If the majority decides for or against those issues, so be it.


morality is a question for individuals.

law is a question for democracy.

i have always stated that it is preferable to have legistlators create law, and courts to strictly interpret it. thats the way teh framers wanted it.
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steve1633 wrote:if you havent realized yet that pp posts offer little in the way of intelligent discourse then youre dumber than i suspected, if its just easier to argue with someone like her then ya go ahead keep it up.
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Unread postby Cortese » Fri Apr 27, 2007 6:39 am

MrSinatra wrote:morality is a question for individuals.

law is a question for democracy.

i have always stated that it is preferable to have legistlators create law, and courts to strictly interpret it. thats the way teh framers wanted it.


I agree that morality is a question for people, legislators are to create law and the courts interpret it. But I don't want morality to be legislated without the people's say. I want the people to decide what is moral for them and the legislators to write the laws upholding that. For the most part, the people have upheld traditional moral and values when it comes to the same-sex marriage issue.
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Unread postby John Gilchrist Lodge » Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:52 am

Right on the money, Mr. Cortese. 8)
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Unread postby MrSinatra » Fri Apr 27, 2007 1:00 pm

Cortese wrote:
MrSinatra wrote:morality is a question for individuals.

law is a question for democracy.

i have always stated that it is preferable to have legistlators create law, and courts to strictly interpret it. thats the way teh framers wanted it.


I agree that morality is a question for people, legislators are to create law and the courts interpret it. But I don't want morality to be legislated without the people's say. I want the people to decide what is moral for them and the legislators to write the laws upholding that. For the most part, the people have upheld traditional moral and values when it comes to the same-sex marriage issue.


i believe thats exactly what i said. :wink:
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steve1633 wrote:if you havent realized yet that pp posts offer little in the way of intelligent discourse then youre dumber than i suspected, if its just easier to argue with someone like her then ya go ahead keep it up.
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Unread postby Cortese » Sat Apr 28, 2007 7:40 am

MrSinatra wrote:i believe thats exactly what i said. :wink:


Oh ok. I just presented it my own words then. :P
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Unread postby 85Scott » Sun Apr 29, 2007 5:34 am

Cortese
I agree that morality is a question for people, legislators are to create law and the courts interpret it. But I don't want morality to be legislated without the people's say. I want the people to decide what is moral for them and the legislators to write the laws upholding that. For the most part, the people have upheld traditional moral and values when it comes to the same-sex marriage issue.

....I prefer most everything other than national defense be
state by state too, and I'm against gay marriage, though
I couldn't care less what they do behind closed doors.

For the most part social-conservatives don't go too far. But
sometimes on abortion, or like Bush with stem cells, they
look ridiculous.

On the other hand, the Left is always abusing the court system.
Using courts to ram their gay agendas into school. Environmental
groups using courts to impose voter-rejected price increases.

And the Crazy Left, IE the socialists, "the progressives" are the
worst - the exact opposite of progress.

Advocating the failed war policies of a Neville Chamberlain. And so
anti-energy, reverting to Roman Chariots would be called progress
by these backward thinkers.
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Unread postby MrSinatra » Wed Jun 13, 2007 1:57 am

steve1633 wrote:However, my one problem with the post is that religion is once again being credited as the great creator of this nation when in fact, I believe the opposite is largely true. The founding fathers were very very progressive in their religious views, none of them were particularly dogmatic to a certain faith and they all recognized the need for expression of all faiths. I would say that the fact that they were so loosely rooted in 'historical faith' that they were so able to create this nation.

<snip>

The only reason that 'christians' have had a large impact on our history is that our nation is made up mostly of people who refer to themselves as christian, true christianity has little influence on America's past, present or future.


nonsense.

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Unread postby banjobkp » Fri Jul 06, 2007 12:36 am

I just had to comment on the same sex marriage issue.

What do you really say to someone who want to have the same rights as someone else?

What do you say to someone who want to have a spouse to speak for them when they cannot.

Through out this debate, the bottom line for me is freedom to live ones life in equality. People complain that there should not be special rights for gays, but that's what they are asking for, not special rights, but the same rights hetero sexual enjoy.

I always enjoy comments like, I don't care what they do behind closed doors, when obviously one does. Otherwise, why would you care if they got married. Honestly, the joke that gays deserve to be just as miserable as married couples rings true. I just don't get how Goldwater republicans could possibly care what relationships one establishes in ones own castle between consenting adults.

just my two cents.
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Unread postby banjobkp » Fri Jul 06, 2007 12:37 am

banjobkp wrote:I just had to comment on the same sex marriage issue.

What do you really say to someone who want to have the same rights as someone else?

What do you say to someone who want to have a spouse to speak for them when they cannot.

Through out this debate, the bottom line for me is freedom to live ones life in equality. People complain that there should not be special rights for gays, but that's what they are asking for, not special rights, but the same rights heterosexual enjoy.

I always enjoy comments like, I don't care what they do behind closed doors, when obviously one does. Otherwise, why would you care if they got married. Honestly, the joke that gays deserve to be just as miserable as married couples rings true. I just don't get how Goldwater republicans could possibly care what relationships one establishes in ones own castle between consenting adults.

just my two cents.
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Unread postby steve1633 » Fri Jul 06, 2007 4:01 pm

How is it nonsense Mr. S? I'm not arguing that the general population of America wasn't religious but simply that the core of the founding fathers (Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Hamilton etc) were not 'religious'. Compared to modern Americans they certainly seem religious but when you compare them to the average religious person in their America they appear almost atheist. And what about what made us strong? Would you argue that destruction of the native population, slavery, and capitalism aren't the 3 biggest forces that made us the power we are today? (I'd say military might could also be on the list at the expense of capitalism but I'd hardly call being good at killing other countries a religious trait)
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