August 24, 2005

WHAT'S SO GOOD ABOUT PEACE, LOVE, AND UNDERSTANDING?:

Seattle, Seventh Heaven: For the religious right, that is. (Knute Berger, 8/25/05, Seattle Weekly)

Seattle likes to think of itself as a bastion of deep blue, a liberal city that keeps the beacon of progressivism lit in the dark days of Bush. We've long patted ourselves on the back for our technological and culture exports, too, from Boeing jets and Microsoft software to artisan coffee, beer, and outdoor gear.

But our chief export these days is right-wing extremism.

A poster child for this is local right-wing radio rabbi Daniel Lapin, who founded Toward Tradition, a national organization devoted to forging ties with the Christian right. Among Lapin's influential pals are Tom DeLay, Ralph Reed, and Grover Norquist. His devoted followers include the conservative cultural critic Michael Medved.

As a promoter of "Judeo-Christian" values, Lapin uses a politically charged phrase. [...]

If you read The New York Times Sunday, Aug. 21, you might have seen a story about another conservative gift that has, uh, evolved in Seattle. It was a profile of the Discovery Institute, the local think tank founded by former Seattle City Council member Bruce Chapman. Discovery is also the headquarters of the "intelligent design" movement that is aimed at undermining the scientific theory of evolution. It seeks to replace the idea of random mutation with the notion that "a creator" is running the evolutionary process. [...]

Another example of local influence is the crusade against sex slavery led by former Seattle GOP Congressman John Miller. [...]

It is truly a sign of Seattle's intellectual liberalism that we are the incubator of powerful ideas. Even bad ones.


Just in case there was any question that the Left has been reduced to mere reactionism--Mr. Berger here characterizes co-operation between Jews and Christians, opposition to sex slavery, and the creation beliefs of over 80% of his fellow citizens as bad ideas.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 24, 2005 3:12 PM
Comments

I think you did a good job misrepresenting some of Berger's points. Well done, your vague generalizations, conveniently chosen inclusions and exclusions serve very well to the cause of demonizing anyone who is willing to criticize any of the new far-right policies. Just for our own clarification:
1) Berger was not calling co-operation between Christians and Jews a bad idea.
2) He was not saying that opposition to sex slavery is bad; he was merely criticizing how it has become a ridiculous policy tool of some demagogues.
3) 80% of the population does not believe in creationism, and even if they did, it doesnt matter. 80% of five year olds believe in Santa Claus, but they're not the ones who are buying the presents. I wonder why these intelligent design debates are taking place on school boards and not at universitites?
It's like the lesson I learned from Chief Propagandist Karl Rove, "If you can't win the debate, you can at least muddy the waters."

Posted by: Ken at August 24, 2005 3:36 PM

Because public schools are public?

Posted by: oj at August 24, 2005 3:41 PM

Perhaps instead of misrepresenting Berger's ideas with your selective quoting, you might provide the whole article, a link, or at least summarize his main points (that does, though, require actually processing his ideas, not a simple REACTIONARY - hmm, odd, haven't I heard that somewhere? - response to the buzz words) if you're going to critique them. He never says Jews and Christians on the same team are a bad thing (I'll keep it simple - bad or good, black/white, blue state/red state - you seem to understand that) or sex slaves a good thing. Nor does he, though he probably could, label the creation beliefs of some percentage of the population you pulled out of your behind (or read in some skewed poll) a bad idea, just the Discovery Institute and its crusade.

Posted by: mad max at August 24, 2005 3:44 PM

Opposition to sex slavery is bad if the "wrong" people (Christians) oppose it? So that means you'll tolerate a little sex slavery now and then if that means keeping the Christers in their place? Or is sex slavery "progressive"--free love and all that?

Sheesh. The quality of troll comments is really going downhill the last couple weeks, OJ. Maybe we need some new personnel over in the Quality ConTroll Department. :-)

Posted by: Mike Morley at August 24, 2005 3:48 PM

Maybe its because Intelligent Design is the laughing-stock of Biology Departments around the country? And that members of a school board who've never taken a college science class in their life are much easier to persuade than college professors?

Posted by: Ken at August 24, 2005 3:48 PM

max:

There's a link, those are quotes from his story and his point is that these are three bad ideas, no? He even refers to Judeo-Christian as a "politically charged phrase".

Posted by: oj at August 24, 2005 3:50 PM

Ken:

Keen eye you have there:

1. Indeed, he was not criticizing cooperation between Jews and Christians in the abstract, only when it is based upon Judaism and Christianity.

2. Indeed, he did say sex slavery was a problem, but appears disgusted that opposition to it should interfere with the international sex trade;

3. Your analogizing of 80% of the population to five-year olds was an important omission in both the article and the comment.

Thanks for keeping us on our toes.

Posted by: Peter B at August 24, 2005 3:52 PM

No, Mike, thats not what I said, or what I meant. Read the article yourself. You're gonna have to click on the link because OJ didn't want you to read the whole thing so he could more easily shape your impressions with his own commentary.

Posted by: Ken at August 24, 2005 3:53 PM

Ken:

Yes, college biology departments obviously have a vested interest in keeping the cult closed. But school boards have to answer to parents in a country that overwhelmingly rejects Darwinism. I know the Left hates that, but it doesn't make it a bad idea.

Posted by: oj at August 24, 2005 3:59 PM

Mike/Peter:

Did either of you have trouble with the link or is it just our intellectual betters who can't figure it out?

Posted by: oj at August 24, 2005 4:01 PM

The article taken as a whole is far worse than OJ's portion. The author sneers at all religious belief.

Posted by: Bob at August 24, 2005 4:01 PM

Peter- I thought you guys were smarter than OJ.

1) First of all, read the original article, in its entirety.
2) He's not criticizing Christians and Jews coming together; he's criticizing certain aspects of the war on terror a la US and Israel.
3) He's says that we shouldn't go after countries and places where prostitution is legal, and safe; he's didnt say anything about being dissapointed about interruptions in the international sex trade.
4) OJ pulles a stat from a web site called "Belief Net." Like 99% of the rest of the statistics on this website, I'm sure its a valid, and unbiased source of religious statistics, but I still think my analogy is very apt, and clever, if I must say so. And my point was that the obviously fudged statistic doesn't matter.

Thanks for misrepresenting me.


Posted by: Ken at August 24, 2005 4:06 PM

Oj

- Touche on the link.

- As for you quoting, allow me a demonstration, using your own comment on the piece:
"the Left has been reduced to" "80%
of . . . citizens"

- politically charged phrase as in words appropriated by the Administration and forged into a slogan to suggest unity (where they see none). See your boy Orwell on political appropriation of and disingenuous use of language for political purposes.

Posted by: mad max at August 24, 2005 4:08 PM

Here's the mission statement of Toward Tradition, that these folks think is such a bad idea:

Toward Tradition is a non-profit (501.c.3), educational organization working to advance our nation toward the traditional Judeo-Christian values that defined America’s creation and became the blueprint for her greatness. We believe that only a new alliance of concerned citizens can re-identify and dramatically strengthen the core values necessary for America to maintain that greatness and moral leadership. These values are: faith-based American principles of constitutional and limited government; the rule of law; representative democracy; free markets; a strong military; and, a moral public culture.

Objectives:
Using both classic and contemporary tools of persuasion, Toward Tradition promotes these positive traditional values while opposing the negative forces of “secular fundamentalism” and anti-religion bigotry. In his best-selling book of the same name, Rabbi Lapin labeled this mission “America’s Real War”

Concerned Jews share this objective with many evangelical and conservative Christians. Working together, they focus on our common cultural, moral, and political goals. The corollary benefit of this alliance is that the majority gentile culture sees that American Jews are not monolithically liberal, and that many of the “progressive” forces in this country are advocating positions that are in fact abhorrent to traditional Judaism.

Jews and Christians...working together! Eek!

Posted by: oj at August 24, 2005 4:08 PM

Ken:

Newsweek. But choose any poll you want. Gallup puts Darwinism at 13%.

Posted by: oj at August 24, 2005 4:09 PM

max:

Yes, the point is that you and Mr. Berger are reduced to defending the 10% position and saying the rest of us have "bad ideas." I'm just trying to help you see why you're losing to us idiots.

Posted by: oj at August 24, 2005 4:13 PM

OJ - Why do you keep using the word Darwinism? Will you ever wake up?
Why do you think that there is some kind of worldwide conspiracy of Biology professors against the true science of Creationism? When are going to realize that this whole intelligent design fiasco is the opposite of science?
That Mission Statement means nothing to me. Actions speak louder than words, and talk is very cheap.
Parents don't overwhelmingly refute evolution and Natural Selection. Maybe if you read some of the research over the past 150 years, you might change your mind. Or you could just throw it in the trash and say "Forget about. God did it." That might be easier for, because I know reading big words must be real hard for you, but don't worry, there are other people out there called scientist who are more than willing to pick up the slack and tell you lots of wonderfully interesting things about the ways that nature works; using things like theories, and tests, and hypotheses that are totaly absent from this politically motivated second-chance at trying to push religion down the throat of kids.

Bob- you might be somewhat right about that. But the author's editorializing is far more forgiveable than OJ's predictable standard practice of slash and burn commentaries that lumps all voices of dissent into a vague "Left" category that is much easier for such a simpleton to demonize.

Posted by: Ken at August 24, 2005 4:23 PM

Agree w/Mike. Is this the best the Troll Factory can come up with?

Posted by: Gideon at August 24, 2005 4:29 PM

Orrin:

Yes, I had trouble with the link. As Ken says, I had to click on it--twice for cryin' out loud, and real fast too. Pretty sneaky, fellah!

Ken:

How can you sit here and defend such incoherent bilge? You know this is just a rant and slanderous screed--more suitable for a Berkely demonstration than a serious article. You guys on the left are getting so fond of demonizing everyone you don't like you are starting to make me feel nostalgic for those huge mind-numbing tomes you used to be partial to.

Posted by: Peter B at August 24, 2005 4:30 PM

Ken/max:

So let's try and disaggregate this a bit:

(1) We're all agreed that Jews and Christians seeking common ground is a good idea, though you have some stylistic differences with Rabbi Lapin.

(2) We're all agreed that working against the forced prostitution of women is a good idea, though you have some stylistic differences with Congreessman Miller.

(3) You think it's a bad idea to teach the 80% view of evolution alongside the 10% view in public schools.

So you disagree with Mr. Berger 66% of the time and I disagree with him 100%. Is it really worth getting all worked up about that third point, where you guys are so outnumbered by the rest of America?

Posted by: oj at August 24, 2005 4:32 PM

Oj - First of all, where did you find that Gallup poll?
Second, like I said above, the polls don't matter. Go poll the college and university professors who actually know what their talking about. I don't ask my dentist to teach me 18th century French literature.
The reason conservatives Republicans have swept American politics is because they have collected the votes of millions of idiots (not the majority; the majority of people don't even vote), and used the money from thousands of the corporate and special interests who's needs they are really serving. Its not because there is a majority of the population that feels the same way you do. I don't care how many statistics you pull out of nowhere, most of this country is smart enough to know that the world was not created in 7 days; just like they are smart enough to know that their presents on Christmas don't come from a fat guy in a red suit.

Posted by: Ken at August 24, 2005 4:39 PM

Right, we've established that 80%+ of Americans are idiots--I just don't see how it benefits you guys to hate us all so much?

But at least we agree on the other two being good ideas, so that's progress.


Gallup Poll:

http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/news/2004/US/724_public_view_of_creationism_and_11_19_2004.asp

Posted by: oj at August 24, 2005 4:45 PM

OJ - Arguing with you is worse than arguing with a child. I don't have time right now to dismantle you're latest corruption of logic.

Peter B - I never said i totally agreed with Mr. Berger. It just bothers me how OJ always uses the same kind of methods to disable any kind of criticism, in the ways that he:
1) Conveniently excludes and includes sections of the articles on the blog
2) Uses totally unreliable statistics
3) Lumps every voice of criticism into a vague "Left" category
4) Picks the most ridiculous examples of left-wing editorializing and uses them as representative examples
5) Lies. A lot.
I'm not defending Berger, im attacking OJ's representation of him. One of these days, when if OJ actually builds up the courage to post from a reputable "left-wing" scholar, you might see my position a little more on the defensive.

Posted by: Ken at August 24, 2005 4:56 PM

The majority believes in it? Well then it must be right. I'm signin'up, too. Where's my slaves? And my flat earth model? And my low-carb bread?

Posted by: mad max at August 24, 2005 4:59 PM

Ken:

I read OJ's excerpt, which piqued my curiosity, so I clicked the link and read the whole thing. I then double-clicked the "comments" link, read your posting, composed my reply in the privacy of my own little free-thinking head, typed it into in the dialog box, and clicked "post."

It may astound you to know this, but most conservatives and Christers and other lowlifes like me are pretty darned proficient with computers. Hell, you think that's impressive, you oughtta see us at a barn-raising!

Posted by: Mike Morley at August 24, 2005 5:03 PM

Ken:

please feel free to introduce any statistical evidence you want that shows people oppose Jewish/Christian co-operation, support sex slavery or believe in Darwinism.

Posted by: oj at August 24, 2005 5:08 PM

Nope, OJ, I never said anything about agreeing or disagreeing with Berger. The only thing I disagree with is your sanding off of his ideas. Once again, though, you've done a fine job of spinning what someone says.

Posted by: mad max at August 24, 2005 5:13 PM

max:

You're aware that's how democracy works, right? The majority isn't required to accept that the minority ideology be imposed in public schools.

Posted by: oj at August 24, 2005 5:13 PM

Mike - i really don't know what thats i reference to, but i really dont care either. It was the other guy who couldn't figure the link out.
I don't hate conservatives, or christians, or christian conservatives. But if they were smart, they would realize that this whole intelligent design is one stealing pile of bs. It is anti-science. And thats the issue thats at hand right now. If you vote Republican because of their politicizing of the issues of intelligent design, gay marriage, stem-cell research, or abortion, I would probably label you as being stupid. If you vote because you want pay less taxes or push forth some questionable business practices, then you are a legitimate conservative in my book. Selfish, but legitimate. It a shame to see so many lower and middle class fools throw their vote towards a party that's sole purpose is to protect the right of the richest Americans, all for the pretense of moral superiority.

Posted by: Ken at August 24, 2005 5:14 PM

max:

So you oppose Jewish/Christian co-operation and favor sex slavery?

Posted by: oj at August 24, 2005 5:16 PM

Ken / madmax,

You need to inform yourselves a little better about Intelligent Design. It is in fact being debated seriously in academic circles, although causing a lot of people there to get pretty upset as well.

A recent example is Dr. Richard Sternberg, past editor of the "Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington" and an evolutionary biologist with 2 PhDs, who published a paper by Stephen C. Meyer in 2004, making the case for "intelligent design." Mr. Meyer is a Cambridge University-educated philosopher of science. Before publishing the paper, Sternberg had it reviewed by 3 scientists who all cleared it for publication. The paper caused a firestorm of controversy but Sternberg said, "I am not convinced by intelligent design but they have brought a lot of difficult questions to the fore and science only moves forward on controversy." In other words, there are a lot of problems with Darwin's theory about the origin of species and "intelligent design" is bringing them forward for debate. This is not about Santa Claus.

Posted by: L. Rogers at August 24, 2005 5:24 PM

Ken:

You said: No, Mike, thats not what I said, or what I meant. Read the article yourself. You're gonna have to click on the link because OJ didn't want you to read the whole thing so he could more easily shape your impressions with his own commentary.

To which I respond: you don't know what I did. I read the article myself. I usually do. One of the reasons why I hang out here in Juddworld is that OJ finds interesting articles and links to them. That gives us all fresh material to read and discuss and interact about.

Stand still and let me swing this clue bat at you: If my reaction to an article Orrin posts on is close to Orrin's, it's still my reaction, not his. I came by it honestly. If it's also different from yours, that doesn't necessarly make me stupid, or you smarter than me. However, once you've started insulting me, both specifically and as a member of a class of people, you've lost your shot at persuading me. The sentence "Agree with me, you pathetic moron!" is not effective persuasive writing.

You've come trolling in out of the blue, mudslinging at everyone in sight ("reading big words must be real hard for you . . . millions of idiots . . . If you vote because you want pay less taxes or push forth some questionable business practices, then you are a legitimate conservative . . .") based on a whole lot of assumptions about conservatives (religious and economic) which I'll wager you picked up from hanging out with like-minded friends exchanging smug little bigotries.

Why don't you try a little experiment: read this blog for a good solid month. Don't comment, just lurk. You'll find that the "regulars" are a pretty intelligent lot, and that we don't always agree with each other, or that nice guy in New Hampshire who generously lets us play with his bandwidth and gives away free books now and then. When the month is up, jump back in, and this time, engage on the level of ideas, not insult.

You up for it buddy?

Posted by: Mike Morley at August 24, 2005 5:57 PM

Ken:

Never mind science, how is it bad politics to be on the 60%+ side of issues?

Posted by: oj at August 24, 2005 6:01 PM

Ken:

If you vote Republican because of their politicizing of the issues of intelligent design, gay marriage, stem-cell research, or abortion, I would probably label you as being stupid. If you vote because you want pay less taxes or push forth some questionable business practices, then you are a legitimate conservative in my book. Selfish, but legitimate.


Stupid or selfish. Good stuff from the reality-based tolerance crowd.

Posted by: pchuck at August 24, 2005 6:16 PM

p:

The funniest thing is that's pretty much the argument that Thomas Frank makes in What's the Matter with Kansas? but he also complains that the GOP has unfairly portrayed the Left as elitists.

Posted by: oj at August 24, 2005 6:28 PM

Ken,

Hate to be the one to tell you, but college professors don't have a lot of credibility since they threw in their lot with political correctness. No untenured faculty would ever make a statement contrary to CW and even tenured people are not likely to be vocal critics.

Academic research even in the sciences is being shown to be fraudulent more and more frequently. Getting grants is the goal, not scientific knowledge. Former iconic publications like "Scientific American" and "Science" have kowtowed to leftwing pressure to print articles, not for their scientific value, but to further their agenda.

If you believe God created the universe, then he/she set everything into motion and anything that's happened since, must be part of the grand plan. If you don't believe that God created the universe, then yours is a more difficult task and a bigger leap of faith.

Students should be taught all the various theories and ideas. It's only because the left is scared to death to mention God in the public schools that this brouhaha erupted anyway. Kids aren't dumb and they can sort out things very well.

It also bears repeating that the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, nowhere does it say there must be freedom from religion and separation of church and state doesn't mean that saying the name of a supreme being is forbidden in the public schools.

I wonder that so many people think it's good for people to work together. That's ridiculous. If their mission is evil, it's not a good thing for people to work together.

Posted by: erp at August 24, 2005 6:53 PM

You are aware, OJ, that a representative democracy (generally the form we're familiar with) entrusts those folks who are best qualified with the decision making? Therefore, what the majority believe shouldn't necessarily be enough to dictate what those who know should or shouldn't do. The Founding Fathers were rightfully sceptical of putting direct decision making into the hands of an uninformed populace.

Also, for the final time, let's clarify a few things about Berger and I. I don't oppose Judeo-Christian potlucks, nor do I favor gimps-chained-in-boxes. Berger? Ditto. Hook me up with some contextualized, representative quotes from his piece that suggest otherwise and you can sell me on the market as a sex slave. Available to both Christians and Jews. But, God forbid, not those Muslims.

Oh, and the inclusion of the mission statement proves very little. Mission statements are always sanitary. Do you expect the group to lay out their plan for global domination in their pr materials?

To everyone else: yes, I'm a moron and missed the link. Sorry, I was too busy abetting terrorists, killing babies, reading Darwin, watching Fonda workout videos and listening to Streisand to see it. Geez, even my fellow troll is ridiculing me -no wonder the left can't win a major election...

Posted by: mad max at August 24, 2005 9:48 PM

"a representative democracy (generally the form we're familiar with) entrusts those folks who are best qualified with the decision making?"

No. A representative democracy entrusts those folks elected by the people with the decision making.

Posted by: carl at August 24, 2005 10:28 PM

If you vote Republican because of their politicizing of the issues of intelligent design [...] or abortion, I would probably label you as being stupid.

Say what ?

Those are MORAL issues, not differences of opinion over FACTS, so why would you attach an intellectually-based label to any side of those issues ?

Intelligent Design is not what you probably think it is.
It's evolution-based, and so cannot be scientifically disproved. (Nor proven).

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at August 25, 2005 12:24 AM

max:

You've never been to a school board meeting, have you?

Posted by: oj at August 25, 2005 12:38 AM

In Seattle the Left faces no real opposition, and they've chosen to use their power to spend billions on building a useless monorail, spend billions on building equally useless light rail which will serve the same area as the stupid monrail, and spend millions on an asinine streetcar to benefit a billionaire.

Posted by: carter at August 25, 2005 12:57 AM

Mike Morely -

You're right, I shouldn't get so personal, especially towards the guy who runs the site. However, don't tell me that I don't want to talk about the issues. Read my first post, read the responses to my post. My initial protest was that (and I repeat) is that OJ consistently misrepresents alternate viewpoints on this website. And then when he is called on it by the few who are willing to challenge this misrepresentation, he misrepresents them as well. So its really frustrating to even engage in a real arguement when we're not even on the same page, he's putting words in my mouth, responding to asinine twists of my posts; making it real difficult to engage in anything constructive. Call me a jerk, but I'm not a liar, which is essentially what I'm calling out OJ to be.

And it doens't help when there's a dozen people waiting in the wings; then my arguements multiply in number and i end up chasing a dozen and catching none.

And don't think that I'm ridiculous for my belief that people who vote Republican are either stupid or selfish. Perhaps stupid is too strong a word, in hindsight i think I would use the word misled.

Posted by: Ken at August 25, 2005 8:29 AM

OJ consistently misrepresents alternate viewpoints on this website.

people who vote Republican are either stupid or selfish. Perhaps stupid is too strong a word, in hindsight i think I would use the word misled.

Was pretty much the point I made about Mr. Berger. Thinking that everything the Right believes is a bad idea is simply reactionary, forcing you into the position of criticizing Jewish/Christian co-operation, opposition to sex slavery and the creation beliefs of 80%+ of your countrymen.

Posted by: oj at August 25, 2005 9:00 AM

OJ -

Ok, for the last time....
1) I wasn't criticizing the "Right"; and it bothers me how you throw around term like "right" and "left". I was talking about people who vote for Republicans (most Republicans) because I think they have misled a lot of people into believing that they are the party of moral superiority; and through playing to peoples ignorances, prejudices, and biases, they have picked up the support of a lot of people who's interests they arent really serving.

2) Berger wasn't, nor was I, ever criticizing Jewish/Christian cooperation; He laid out a specific circumstance, not all cooperation in general. Stop generalizing; your glossing over of differences and willful ignorance is very frustating.

3) Like my last point, I and Berger, am not "all for "sex slavery", only against some of the ridiculous ways it is politicized; kind of like the way a lot of other moral wedge issues are used to manipulate and mislead people into voting. Berger was stating that he thought it was bad to go after prostitution where it is legal, voluntary, and safe.

4) Your statistic is wrong. I've done some research and found wildly varying number of people who believe in this and that. Even if it was right, it still wouldn't matter; Go an poll scientist; not Joe Schmoe on the street who has never taken a Biology course. I find it interesting that you slander science, but you constantly resort to questionable and misused statistics to prove your points.

5) From the beginning of these posts, I was not criticizing any of the three things that you have been consistenly harping about; I was, and still am, criticizing you and your willful or ignorant misrepresentation!!!! Alright, are we clear? Are you still going to come back with the same response?

Posted by: Ken at August 25, 2005 9:27 AM

Ken:

You don't think the Right is stupid just Republicans?

You just don't like it when Jews and Christians co-operate on the moral issues they share in common?

You're pro-prostitution unless it's forced.

You think a scientific elite should detemine the curriculum of public school science classes, not citizens generally.

Is that about right? Which brings me back to my original point, the Left has been reduced to reacting against the majority opinions of the GOP to its own detriment.

Posted by: oj at August 25, 2005 9:58 AM

More wisdom from "The Simpsons":

Smithers: "Sir, I'm afraid we have a bad image, people see you as a bit of an ogre."

Montgomery Burns, wealthy owner of the Springfield Nuclear Plant and gubernatorial candidate, replies: "Why, I ought to club them and eat their bones! Ironic, isn't it Smithers? This anonymous clan of slack-jawed troglodytes has cost me the election, and yet, if I were to have them killed, I would be the one to go to jail. That's democracy for you."

Posted by: Rick T. at August 25, 2005 10:02 AM

Ken:

I'm amazed that you are so anxious to attribute sublety and give credence to author of such a rant. If you read closely, you will see that he is upset that Jews and Christians are cooperating by working together on morality and Israel. Are you telling us that Berger is really Mr. Inter-faith as long as they only talk about baseball and global warming? That the non-religious should have a say in deciding what they should talk about? That they should only be talking about how religion is just an oppressive crock?

"Legal, voluntary and safe", eh? Talk about every man's fanatasy. I'm standing by here anxious to see your list of countries where prostitution is legal, voluntary and safe and where those killjoy Judeo-Christians are interfering with the freely chosen careers of those self-reliant and independant working girls. Don't forget to link us to the testimonials.

As to creationism, you might want to take Mike Morly's adice, pulll up a chair and listen to how that term is defined and the issues it raises. You are most welcome. You are a good listener, eh Ken? But if you just want to tell us how stupid and dishonest we all are, I recommend dailykos.

Posted by: Peter B at August 25, 2005 10:04 AM

OJ - Nice generalizations and misrepresentations, again. That's my original point. I'm done with you.

Peter B. - Go to Europe. I know how Creationism is defined. I went to two different Christian churches for 16 years, while my mom was a Sunday School teacher. Go ahead and quiz me. And I've seen the argument since this debate has been renewed on the School Boards in Kansas, and Pennsylvania. And it's recent reincarnation in the form of Intelligent Design. And as an Organic Chemistry major, I know how science is defined, too. I've already seen what happens on this site when we try to compare and contrast the two, and its useless. I happen to believe that there is still room left for spirituality while still giving credence to 150 years of research on Natural Selection. Intelligent design/Creationism is an issue that has been politized for reasons that have little to do with furthering the use of the scientific method amongst children; rather, it is telling them to ignore many of its various uses.

And yeah, ,b>when Jews and Christians come together to reinforce policy issues in Israel, I do take objections when it becomes less a collaboration and a more teaming against Muslims to maintain a strategic base in the Middle East. I think thats what Berger was getting at, not how OJ generalized it.

And I don't think Berger was for prostitution, just way it was being politized (in a similar manner that Intelligent design is) by certain demagogues in Seattle. Like I said, Its not my agreeing with Berger that caused my speaking up, its OJ misrepresentation and generalization of his points, and his association of Berger with more respectable left-minded scholars.

I don't think all conservatives are idiots, but I think that the Republican and Democratic Parties are leading this great country down the toilet, and since the Republicans are in charge now, and probably will be for a while, they are the ones i mainly criticize.

Posted by: Ken at August 25, 2005 10:33 AM

Ken:

So you don't think Berger's views are "respectable" but you feel compelled to react when they are criticized? How is that not reactionary?

Posted by: oj at August 25, 2005 10:40 AM

OJ - Because you willfully misrepresent him, and everyone who you lump into his category when you carelessly throw around the term "Left" in a large number of the articles you post.

Posted by: Ken at August 25, 2005 10:45 AM

Ken:

If you don't think he's a respectable member of the Left then why should he be treated with respect when he excoriates the Right?

And how are you any different if you think Republicans are stupid, Jewish/Christian support for Israel is bad, prostitution should be legal and an elite should force Darwinism on schoolchildren whose parents object?

Posted by: oj at August 25, 2005 10:51 AM

I see. So, ID/Creationist proponents are all telling kids to ignore science's "many uses", Christians and Jews are really talking about strategic bases in the Middle East and both the Republicans and Democrats are leading the country down the toilet(that's some Pied Piper imagery there, Ken). But Orrin generalizes, so you are taking your ball home. I see.

Posted by: Peter B at August 25, 2005 11:19 AM

It is a sign of the left's paranoia that the writer can claim that Seattle is a Religious Right bastion because of the presence of two conservative Jews.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at August 25, 2005 5:00 PM

Hatred of the religious is a powerful thing, you know.

Posted by: oj at August 25, 2005 5:12 PM
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