Sunday, March 04, 2007

Bush's Theocracy...But I Can Save You

I love trolls. Probably because we get so few of them…they kind of drop through the ether on their way down to some place they deserve…

One showed up a little while ago in an old Fjordman post. I won’t bother linking to it. However, just in case you didn’t know, this person of wisdom has decided that we are “…racist claptrap. Nothing more than that…”

Obviously, this person knows I’m a sucker for a reasoned argument. And sure enough, the commenter elaborates with a stern rhetorical question:

Have you been paying attention to what the Bush administration has been doing and the theocracy the US is turning into?

Yes, I have noticed that. All the praying that goes on in schools, the way the Patriot Act calls for burning of atheists at the stake (good, clean fun, that), and particularly the mandatory church attendance, especially for Muslims.

Yes, sir…I surely do admire Emperor Bush’s diktats. My only complaint is that he hasn’t issued more of them.

Better be careful, you agnostics. I took a peek, and you’re next on the list.

Get Out of Jail Free StatueIf you non-believers and pagans would like a quick disguise, out of the kindness of my Christian heart I have some rosary beads I can sell you. Real cheap – even less if you buy a gross of them. All guaranteed to contain pieces of the original cross from Calvary.

I have holy water, quarts and gallons of the original water-turned-into-wine. Unfortunately, they stale-dated and turned back into H2O, but they’re the real thing – you can get a whiff of ancient vinegar when you open them. But hurry, only a few containers remain.

My best offer, though is genuine statues of Saint Dymphna. Real cheap. Being the patron saint of lunatics, she should suit the fear mongers who think the US is one theocracy, under Bush, with quibbling credos for all.

[Racist claptrap ends here]

34 comments:

fp said...

Trolls aside, a major reason why islam is so much more dangerous than christianity is that the latter has separated from the state. Its most oppressive and murderous period has started when it became the state's religion courtesy of Constantine, and throughout medieval times via the inquisition.

Any political involvement with the state is, therefore, dangerous and could, in theory, end up as christianism, similar to islamism. There are enough christo-fascists who compete quite well with islamo-fascists (e.g. Jesus Camp). Just ask gays and atheists.

Therefore I would not be that dismissive of any attempts of christianity rejoining the US state, and it can hardly be denied that there have been attempts at that which would have been impossible before.

The God delusion is one of the main roots of evil and you do not respond to one of them with another.

gun-totin-wacko said...

I have a Chomsky-ite friend that equates the Christian right with the Islamists. Can't seem to communicate to him that A) Christians stopped stoning people; B) For every wacked-out Christian that wants to restore a theocracy, there are a hundred others that think he's nuts; C) That nobody in this country takes them seriously, since they're nutjobs; D) The Muslims are gradually getting more religious freedom than anyone; and E) That posting the 10 commandments on the wall of a courthouse won't immediately bring about the Spanish Inquisition.

Of course, he does understand that F)"Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!" and wouldn't forgive me for not mentioning that.

kepiblanc said...

fp, I beg to disagree here. In my country Christianity is the official, state-sponsored religion [Folkekirken] with its own department, public responsibilities like name registration, statistics, burial service and whatnot. MOF the head of the church is the king (queen). One can opt out and get a - minor - tax reduction, but the fact is we all - pagans, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Asa-worshippers, FSM'ers etc... ad nauseam pay the church tax. Nothing could possibly be more integrated than the Cristian Church and the Danish state.

And yet I do not see much in the way of danger in this arrangement...

So, maybe there is quite another difference at work here ?

Epaminondas said...

I've lost patience, let's haul the lot out, bring them to the base of Montsegur, and well....

fp said...

Kepiblank,

There is state religion and state religion. The Danish "integration" is sort of nominal and does not get involved in the actual running of the state--the state does not rule to enforce and in the name of religion. This was not the case during Constantine and the middle ages.

Islam does not tolerate such a configuration. The state's task is to enforce sharia law, just like the inquisition used to enforce catholic canon when the pope was king.

The Danish configuration is part of the modernization in the west (due to secularization of society), while islam has remained in the 7th century in large part because education consists largely of learning the Quran.

They came for the Jews, and I did not speak up because I wasn't a Jew. They came for the Christians, and I did not speak up because I was not a Christian. They came for the leftists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a leftist. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak up for me. --Martin Niemoller (paraphrased to fit the times)
http://fallofknowledgeandreason.blogspot.com/

Dymphna said...

They came for the Jews, and I did not speak up because I wasn't a Jew. They came for the Christians, and I did not speak up because I was not a Christian. They came for the leftists...

They did WHAAAAT???

Man, what century is *your* head buried in? The Leftists??? Are you sober?

The Leftists run the NYT and the rest of the MSM, the current Congress, academia, etc., ad nauseam...

In the town nearest me, you run the risk of having your car keyed down its whole length if you have the audacity to put on a Boy Scout bumper sticker. Luckily, I have an old car and a son-in-law who does wonderful autobody repairs, so let them have fun.

Remind me now, exactly who in this country was it that came for the Leftists?

I want some of whatever you're smoking.

scott said...

lolllll . . . . a well argued retort. Don't you stand in amazement at some of the wild assertions made to your posts. I oft wonder if many of these "trolls," as you call them, are not themselves daily mystified by the setting of the sun.

I will two of the Saint Dymphna statutes and a gallon of that wine, please.

Scott
http://towncommons.blogspot.com

Dymphna said...

fp --

(Frog Prince, maybe?) You are a piece of work, you are.

This is my fave:The God delusion is one of the main roots of evil...

In what century do you dwell, fp? I guess Stalin and Mao and Pol Pot did their butchering between holy day observations??? I must have missed that chapter...

God may or may not be a delusion, fp. However, your a priori supposition that belief in him/her/itis "deluded thinking" could well be *your* delusion.

You can no more prove that the entity known as God does not exist than believers can prove he/she/it does exist.

Your faith in the non-existence of God is merely that: *your* faith. Not everyone ascribes to it and it is only hubris to presume that the Right Answers reside in one's own limited sphere of experience.

So you're missing the God gene. Hey, fp, you're not alone...but you are a minority and have been since the dawn of consciousness.

Get over it.

John said...

Rosary beads and holy water? My, my, the Know Nothings would be appalled. This means that we Papists have taken over and now the Vatican runs everything with their dastardly Jebbies enforcing its will. So cool to finally be in the majority in one area at least...

Dymphna said...

oh, and one more blatant absurdity, fp:

a major reason why islam is so much more dangerous is that the latter has separated from the state..

Wrong again, my dear. The reason Islam is more dangerous is that it has a theology of jihad. Those who adhere to this particular brand of murderous theology are no different from other fascists, state-supported or not. Jihadists kill people, that's why Islam can be dangerous.

Kepi blanc explained the exceptionalism of Denmark...

...So why don't you explain the phenomenon of Israel, fp. There's a functioning theocracy/democracy with a very healthy economy and an innovative, creative population who are able to argue fiercely with one another and don't draw swords.

Horrible cultural sinks surround them. Death-deluded "martyrs" are willing to sacrifice their populace just to drive them into the sea. And still, they remain and flourish.

Maybe it's all the Jewish atheists who keep the wheels turning in Tel Aviv?

fp said...

Dymphna,

Don't let your emotions get the better of you. Read things carefully and not literally and you may end up even understanding some subtlety.

The end of my message is the logo of my blog, which is a reverse paraphrasing of a famous saying.
Hard to believe you dk the original.

It is meant to say that the so-called leftists who are currently imposing dhimmitude on themselves
-- the MSM, Kos, etc. -- will not be spared when the islamists will come after all infidels.

fp said...

Scott,

Failure to understand irony does not make somebody else a troll.

fp said...

Dymphna,

Judging by your comments, it is you who are stuck in the past. You are throwing around arguments that have been debunked to the hilt and are quite tired. And your logic is faulty, as I would expect from a theist/deist. You can't pull all these fast ones on me. Maybe on Scott and others.

1. Mao and Pot and the rest did not kill in the name of atheism. They killed in the name of their secular gods. Just like the crusaders, inquisitors and islamists kill in the name of their god.

2.The idiotic argument about proving the inexistence of god is based at best on ignorance. It is those who came up with the claim of god who must provide persuasive evidence of its existence. Demanding of us to prove his inexistence is trying to cover for your logical failure by making yourself seem smart.

3. How quick you are to embrace the god gene. I guess you embrace science only when it can be interpreted to suit your faith. And interpretation it is, as the gene says nothing about the existence of god, only that humans are weak organisms and need external props to cope. That's why they invent gods.

I am quite happy in the minority, thank you. Quality is always preferrable to quantity. I don't feel comfortable in herds.

fp said...

Dymphna,

You are as ignorant as you are weak in reasoning:

1. Yes, jihad theology is one problem. However, had there been a separation between the state and theology, the development could have been similar to christianity.
When christianity was the state, it behaved not much differently than islam. What makes islam dangerous is not JUST its theology, but the fact that it is also a governing ideology. There is no such thing as separation of church and state.

2. You ignored it, but I explained that Danmark is not exceptional, but a product of secularization of the state. It does not rule to enforce the canons of the church. If it did, you would not have had the current Europe.

3. The notion that Israel is a theocracy borders on the absurd. When I was still living there the religious were around 15%, including the just traditional. My guess is there is less now, after the russian immigration. There are certain religious rules imposed due to the constraints of coalition politics, but that is the least democratic of the country's features and there are serious clashes and crises around it quite often. The most religious component otoh does not serve in the army and oto imposes serious security burdens. The most delusional--the orthodox--are utter nuts and don't even recognize israel, are parasitic and cause only trouble.

Having lived there for 18 years, served in the army and participated in two wars, you think you can educate me about israel?

You know about those martyrs from the media. I had to face them on a daily basis. So please, no armchair ME analysis, OK?

Hey, Scott, not too bad a retort, is it?

Cindi said...

Hey fp, how's this for a retort:

Bless YOU and the horse you rode in on.

Dymphna said...

fp--

It's nice to have our own pet troll. I'm glad you showed up.

As I said when I began the post, we don't get many of you. Welcome to the exclusive club of GoV trollsters.

Ummm...where was I being emotional, fp?

What fast ones was I pulling?

In what sense are my arguments weak and tired? Where do they lack enough subtlety to meet your exacting standards?

That's a lot of trash talk when you don't back the accusations up with specifics.

And the fact that you lived in Israel does not mean that others aren't allowed to comment on its structure and current condition. Any more than living in Florida for 18 years made me an expert. Or having experienced the death of others makes me an expert on dying. "I lived there so I know" is definitely a tired -- and tiresome -- rhetorical device.

You are indeed courageous to have faced those "martyrs" on a daily basis. OTOH, some Jews have left Sweden to join the Israeli forces because it feels safer there than in Malmo...so it depends on one's perspective.

I'll continue to comment on the Middle East. That's the raison d'être for this blog -- or one of them -- and just because you drop by, full of wisdom and expertise and ready to counsel me in the error of my ways, my ignorance and weak logic...well, why would that mean anything to me?

You haven't presented any credentials, or said anything convincing so far. I doubt your track record is likely to improve at this point.

Don't like what I have to say? Don't approve? Okay with me --just hit "next blog" and you're outta here.

I don't need to prove the existence of God or disprove it. Your retort is specious. You have your faith, others have theirs. Your moral superiority to the herd is your problem -- or perhaps the solution to your problem.

At any rate, proclaiming your superiority to the herd is certainly one way to get through this vale of tears before you drop into the void which awaits you when life ends...whatever works, fp. Go for it.

I'm done with this "dialogue." More like mutual monologue. If you need to have the parting shot, by all means do so.

It's been real, but time to move on...

...Vaya con Dios, fp.

robert in england said...

Perhaps you should offer a statue of the Moose of Multiculturalism for the less religiously inclined commenters

troutjacki said...

fp:

Actually the existence or non-existence of God falls into the category defined by Gödel’s Theorem which states that “…demonstrated that within any given branch of mathematics, there would always be some propositions that couldn't be proven either true or false using the rules and axioms....” It turns out that this applies to an entire class of problems can be extended beyond pure mathematics. So to say that you don’t believe in God because you can’t prove his existence is the equivalent is that you don’t believe in Plane Geometry because the underlying five basic postulates can’t be proven either.

scott said...

A technical question here -- from one who has been blogging less then a month and is mentally slow in any event. I linked to this post (See Fun With Trolls -
(http://towncommons.blogspot.com/2007/03/fun-with-trolls.html )
Out of curiosity, I checked the links list on your post here, and my link to it is not listed. Any idea why?

Scott
newsblog07@aol.com
http://towncommons.blogspot.com

Baron Bodissey said...

Scott,

The ways of blogger trackbacks are mysterious. I don't know what makes them tick. As I write this, your link is showing as the only trackback above these comments.

So who knows? Blogger giveth, and Blogger taketh away.

fp said...

Cindi,

Gee, and I thought I was the troll here. Who says the site don't get many of those?

But hey, that's probably the best you can do.

fp said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
fp said...

troutjacki,

Do you think that bringing mathematics in the context of proving/disproving god's existence is a way to have you taken seriously?

For some reason I doubt Dymphna would question THAT rhetorical device.

Fellow Peacekeeper said...

Dymphna : If you non-believers and pagans would like a quick disguise, out of the kindness of my Christian heart I have some rosary beads I can sell you. Real cheap – even less if you buy a gross of them. All guaranteed to contain pieces of the original cross from Calvary.

A gross is what, 144? Can't wear that many beads, might be mistaken for a hippie and get hauled of to camp X-ray for deprogramming and detoxification.

fp : Having lived there for 18 years, served in the army and participated in two wars, you think you can educate me about israel?

Who is this fp? An atheist liberal jewish troll? :D No wonder the chap worries about being taken away. Fascinating credentials - 18 years service, pro or reserve? Which two wars?

fp said...

fellow peacekeeper,

I will let others judge who is the troll here, but I suggest you educate yourself on what a troll is (hint: consider the substance of your message).

In the context of the ME and jihad only an idiot would consider me a liberal. That's why your comment makes as much sense as the god delusion.

My reference to being "taken away" is to those rabid anti-semitic leftists who are currently embracing the islamo-fascists as their cause and who seem to belabor under the delusion that the jews are the root of all the world's problems, and if they were done away with the world would be better off and they (the leftists) would escape from being subjugated by the jihadis they now embrace.
Have you heard of irony?

Instead of jumping to conclusions blinded by ideology, try to read and understand what I actually say.

Note: I said I lived there 18 years, not served 18 years.

John said...

fp: The notion that Israel is a theocracy borders on the absurd. When I was still living there the religious were around 15%, including the just traditional. My guess is there is less now, after the russian immigration. There are certain religious rules imposed due to the constraints of coalition politics, but that is the least democratic of the country's features and there are serious clashes and crises around it quite often. The most religious component otoh does not serve in the army and oto imposes serious security burdens. The most delusional--the orthodox--are utter nuts and don't even recognize israel, are parasitic and cause only trouble.

I'll agree with you that Israel is not a theocracy, say in the mold of Iran. However, this religious minority you speak of does wield an enormous amount of power that their counterparts in the USA can only dream of. In addition to exemptions from IDF service, they control marriage licensing, requirements for conversion under the Law of Return (try being a Reform or Conservative convert and immigrating), a sizeable chunk of the education budget (a ministry they frequently control resulting in this perk), and their miniscule parties have toppled more than one Israeli government in the Knesset. I consider Israel to be an ally and a friend, but their system is not something I would enjoy living under.

Mike the Geek said...

You have statues of St. Dymphna? Where?????? I'll take one!

fp said...

Agreed. In fact, my father lost his business because of the ban of entertainment on Friday nights.

But as I stated, this is a result of the structure of Israeli party politics, and not nominal theocracy. The religious parties wanted to impose much more on the population, but there are limits precisely because the majority is not religious and does not tolerate it.

* Unlike what was claimed here, this religious aspect is the least democratic one, because a minority imposes religious rules on a majority of the population.

And as you confim what I said, that this is one of the least democratic aspect of the system, because it allows the minority to impose its rules on the majority.

Thus the theocracy/democracy theory advanced here is bunk.

Dymphna said...

Mike the geek said--
You have statues of St. Dymphna? Where?????? I'll take one!

I went to google to find the statue and it didn't come up some reason. That is such a piece of kitsch, isn't it?

I know there are any # of companies selling vsrious imaeges of St D., but I simply couldn't find the particular one I use. I suggest you just google her with quotes and then the word statue...you may have better luck than I.

Meanwhile, you're in luck: I found this, which is better by far.

Baron Bodissey said...

fp --

Because you're new here, I'm taking the trouble to re-post a redacted version of your comment after deleting it.

This is a PG-13 blog because homeschooling families send their older children here to further their education.

Our rules are that comments must remain civil, temperate, and clean.

Next time, I'll just delete it.

fp said...

Dymphna,

>It's nice to have our own pet troll. I'm glad you showed up.

It's nice to see you starting with an ad-hominem. Not very promising.

>As I said when I began the post, we don't get many of you. Welcome to the exclusive club of GoV trollsters.

Maybe because you're not doing a bad job of it yourself, without realizing it, of course.

>Ummm...where was I being emotional, fp?

Where you jumped to the conclusion that a logo for my blog was a statement of fact. The sheer word'leftists' made you see red.

>What fast ones was I pulling?

Those were specified within the paragraph where I claimed that you pulled them. Either you did not read them, or you did not understand them.

>In what sense are my arguments weak and tired? Where do they lack enough subtlety to meet your exacting standards?

Ditto. I would suggest you reread them, but I doubt you would, or that it would make a difference.

>That's a lot of trash talk when you don't back the accusations up with specifics.

Amazing. Between the two of us I was the only one with the specifics, you are just throwing ad-hominem about. And MY talk is trash?

Do you always feel accused in public exchanges? That would explain the tenor of your comments. Too thin a skin, huh?

>And the fact that you lived in Israel does not mean that others aren't allowed to comment on its structure and current condition. Any more than living in Florida for 18 years made me an expert. Or having experienced the death of others makes me an expert on dying. "I lived there so I know" is definitely a tired -- and tiresome -- rhetorical device.

Did I ever claim I was an expert? But then, if I take your position to its logical conclusion, living in Israel for 18 years has no bearing whatsoever on my knowledge relative to somebody who has not? You can't be serious.

Tired rhetorical devices, you say? Here's one: How joining a debate can possibly mean stifling you? Who ever said that you're not allowed to comment? But in a public context I am also allowed to prove you wrong. And I did, at your own request and with specifics.

Incidentally, how exactly can you experience the death of others? No, no, don't tell me, I can guess.

>You are indeed courageous to have faced those "martyrs" on a daily basis. OTOH, some Jews have left Sweden to join the Israeli forces because it feels safer there than in Malmo...so it depends on one's perspective.

Well, let's say much more courageous than just blogging about the ME.

>I'll continue to comment on the Middle East. That's the raison d'être for this blog -- or one of them -- and just because you drop by, full of wisdom and expertise and ready to counsel me in the error of my ways, my ignorance and weak logic...well, why would that mean anything to me?

I know that knowledge and logic does not mean anything to you, that's pretty obvious. Nobody is trying to stop you and you can comment to your heart's content, no matter how little you know, or how poorly you reason. What you should not do is complain when somebody proves you wrong he tries to stifle you. It is you who are trying to stifle me with insults and ad-hominem.

>You haven't presented any credentials, or said anything convincing so far. I doubt your track record is likely to improve at this point.

Saying I am not convincing is easy. Demonstrating with evidence and reason that I am not is a bit harder, and you have done none of that. Quite a nerve for somebody who accuses others (falsely) of no specifics.

What are YOUR credentials? I did not request any of you, I just addressed your arguments. If I have such a poor track record it should be easy to back that up -- why didn't you?

My guess is that whatever credentials I would offer (how about a PhD in political science?) you would dismiss same as you dismissed my Israeli experience. Understandable: what would an Israeli PhD with 15 years of research know about Israeli structure and current conditions better than you?

>Don't like what I have to say? Don't approve? Okay with me --just hit "next blog" and you're outta here.

Wouldn't you like that? So much more fun to have everybody agree with you.

Given the substance of my comments, how they can be referred to as just "don't like" and "don't approve" borders on the infantile. Are all arguments just about liking and approving, regardless of the evidence?

>I don't need to prove the existence of God or disprove it. Your retort is specious. You have your faith, others have theirs. Your moral superiority to the herd is your problem -- or perhaps the solution to your problem. At any rate, proclaiming your superiority to the herd is certainly one way to get through this vale of tears before you drop into the void which awaits you when life ends...whatever works, fp. Go for it.

Bull***t, your retort was specious. I have no faith, you do. In the absence of any persuadable evidence for the existence of any god invented by people, I assume there is none. You choose to believe without evidence. That's faith.

My moral position is superior to the herd for the following reason: I do not behave morally because I am afraid of what some supernatural entity will do to me before or after I die; I do it because I believe in being moral, and not scared into it by damnation, hellfire, void, or whatever. The fact is that you know nothing about what happens after life ends, you're just afraid of it, can't cope with it, and need an external prop to lean on. That is precisely why gods were invented: to exploit human fears.

>I'm done with this "dialogue." More like mutual monologue. If you need to have the parting shot, by all means do so. It's been real, but time to move on...

But of course, it was predictable. You entered in an exchange I had with somebody else, threw some ad-hominem and errors around, ignored specific counter facts and provided none--did exactly what you (falsely) accused me of doing--then took your toys and stopped playing. And you did so preemptively, just in case I respond in a way you won't be able to address either. And I am the one with tired rhetoric devices? Nothing real about that.

>...Vaya con Dios, fp.

I suspect that's something I should say to you, given that it means nothing to me.

Profitsbeard said...

I like Freud's logic in "The Future of an Illusion": you determine the usefulness of a belief by its effectiveness, since its can have no other earthly "proof".

What else can give comfort in the face of the unknowable (inevitable death, unsatisfied injustice) but a Greater Unknowable?

Utility makes some faiths less "effective" for human life.

Islam "works" for a specific mindset- dogmatic, patriarchal, cruel, humorless, anti-inquisitive, and misogynistic.

Buddhism (more a form a "mental hygiene" than a "religion") satisifies a different type of persona.

"Belief" is trusting in the deepest emotional need that gives meaning to this Mystery.

As Nietzsche said: "Man would rather have the Void for a purpose than be void of purpose."

We all find what keeps us stable in boundless flux.

Some need a God that keeps them in a straightjacket or headlock or cosmic cradle.

Some can drink wine in a boat by moonlight and toast a Taoist deity that laughs at our keel-hauling seriousness.

The right to say "Or?" is what I will fight for.

"Allah is greatest!"

"Or?"

"The Koran is not to be doubted"

"Or?"

(Grab your "Or?"'s and strike out for the eternally open sea.)

fp said...

Heroin, cocain, opium give comfort to people; and they are quite effective at that. Do you recommend them on the basis of utility?

Or how about "The Secret"? It is a beliefe that makes people feel so good that Ophra has embraced and marketed it. OK with you?

Dymphna said...

profitsbeard --

William James said much the same thing as Freud, but he looked at it from a slightly different perspective. Whereas Freud examined its utility in the present, James (a bit facetiously, sometimes) proposed the eternal utility -- i.e., since we cannot really know what comes after, might as well go with belief since that was the safest bet...

In ""The Wreckage of Agathon," John Gardner has a quote that fits the spirit of your comment: "Since the truth is ultimately unknowable, what matters is not what is true, but what is entertaining."

Among other aspects, I find the experience of God entertaining...

...Poor Sartre. In his autobiography re his childhood ("Les Mots") he says that he met God when he was about nine (Satre, not God),and they didn't hit it off so they never spoke again.

I like your image of the Taoists,and your "or" pun. Entertaining...

Careless said...

Actually the existence or non-existence of God falls into the category defined by Gödel’s Theorem which states that “…demonstrated that within any given branch of mathematics, there would always be some propositions that couldn't be proven either true or false using the rules and axioms....” It turns out that this applies to an entire class of problems can be extended beyond pure mathematics. So to say that you don’t believe in God because you can’t prove his existence is the equivalent is that you don’t believe in Plane Geometry because the underlying five basic postulates can’t be proven either.
Only if you assume a god that is not omnipotent can god not be proven. It's disproving god that can't be done.

To Baron and Dymph: I think you need to reconsider how you state your posting policies, as "PG-13" allows for many, many things that you don't want posted here. Heck, PG allows it, too.