Pope Benedict Warns Against Marxist Liberation Theology

Monday, December 7, AD 2009

17 Responses to Pope Benedict Warns Against Marxist Liberation Theology

  • Leftist Catholics rightly identify Christ as the savior of human beings, body and soul alike. What they fail to understand is the consequences of Original Sin for the body, and the limitations on human life imposed by sin and finitude. They wrongly think that if everyone on Earth was a Saint, there would be no more suffering. Leftist Catholics think that there are no limits to human progress, which is to say they are very modern.

  • Some Leftist Catholics remind me of the Zealots who thought to bring about the Kingdom of God through the sword. A communist dictatorship though is a funny sort of Kingdom of God.

  • Such words for the “Catholic Left.” Then what is wrong with the “Catholic Right,” I wonder? Or does the “Right” comprise of the Catholics who “get it?”

  • Selective interpretation of the social teaching of the Church… which ultimately stems from liberalism as Leo XIII and Pius XI understood it.

  • In regard to the Catholic Right Eric, I can’t think of a comparable attempt by Catholic conservatives to trojan horse a body of doctrine completely inimical to Catholicism into the Church as has been the ongoing effort of some Catholics on the Left to baptize Marx. The nearest parallel I can think of predates the French Revolution with the unfortunate throne and altar doctrine of many clerics, although at least they could make the argument that the states they sought to wed the Church with were not anti-Catholic. In the case of Marxism, its overwhelming anti-Christian praxis should have innoculated Catholics from it without the necessity of papal intervention, but such was not the case.

  • Tito,

    No. 🙂

  • I think there’s a pretty strong throne and altar doctrine on the Catholic Right today, at least in the U.S., where the throne takes the form of military power.

    A case could also be made for a “‘Shut up, your Excellencies,’ he explained” doctrine, which denigrates the role of the bishops, individually and especially collectively, in developing social policies.

  • I read the Pope’s document carefully.

    Now I’m perplexed:

    1. Exactly what is objectionable in what he said?

    2. Has the Pope not condemned, in this very document, the arms buildup and the disgrace of military solutions? He only appears as a right winger if you’re looking from the vantage point of an extreme left wing ideologue.

    Maybe a few here ought to put down their Che Guevara coffee mugs read it again. The Holy Father is spot on.

    It is simply a fact of history that collectivist movements have enslaved the very people they promised to liberate.

    I am frankly a little more than concerned at the prideful inability of many leftists to acknowledge this fact of history, nay, the desire to whitewash this disgrace from history.

  • Who here is attacking the Pope?

  • MI,

    They participated and got deeply involved with Marxist governments. Dissidents such as Jesuit “Father” Ernesto Cardenal of Nicaragua who was involved with the Communist government then.

  • I’m always amused when people, especially conservatives who decry the tactic in others, appoint themselves the experts of All Things Liberal.

    I don’t think that Acts 4:32 is a bad things for which to strive. Certainly better than cuddling up to Pinochet or Cheney.

  • I’d rather cuddle up to Cheney than Karl Marx or Joseph Stalin any day of the week.

  • The early Christians quickly abandoned common ownership as completely unworkable Todd. Outside of monasteries and convents it has only been revived by Christians for short periods, usually with dire results. The Pilgrims tried it, and almost starved to death. William Bradford, the governor of the colony relates what happened next:

    “All this while no supply was heard of, neither knew they when they might expect any. So they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery. At length, after much debate of things, the Governor (with the advice of the chiefest amongst them) gave way that they should set corn every man for his own particular, and in that regard trust to themselves; in all other things to go on in the general way as before. And so assigned to every family a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number, for that end, only for present use (but made no division for inheritance) and ranged all boys and youth under some family. This had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could use, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better content. The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn; which before would allege weakness and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression.

    The experience that was had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years and that amongst godly and sober men, may well evince the vanity of that conceit of Plato’s and other ancients applauded by some of later times; that the taking away of property and bringing in community into a commonwealth would make them happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God. For this community (so far as it was) was found to breed much confusion and discontent and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For the young men, that were most able and fit for labour and service, did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children without any recompense. The strong, or man of parts, had no more in division of victuals and clothes than he that was weak and not able to do a quarter the other could; this was thought injustice. The aged and graver men to be ranked and equalized in labours and victuals, clothes, etc., with the meaner and younger sort, thought it some indignity and disrespect unto them. And for men’s wives to be commanded to do service for other men, as dressing their meat, washing their clothes, etc., they deemed it a kind of slavery, neither could many husbands well brook it. Upon the point all being to have alike, and all to do alike, they thought themselves in the like condition, and one as good as another; and so, if it did not cut off those relations that God hath set amongst men, yet it did at least much diminish and take off the mutual respects that should be preserved amongst them. And would have been worse if they had been men of another condition. Let none object this is men’s corruption, and nothing to the course itself. I answer, seeing all men have this corruption in them, God in His wisdom saw another course fitter for them.”

  • Michael I.,

    Donald will delete it at his leisure.

    For the time being I’m just amusing myself by reading your comments, thanks!

Boycott Upcoming Catholic Campaign for Human Development Collection

Thursday, October 29, AD 2009

REFORM CCHD

There is a coalition of Catholic organizations that have formed that will be pushing for a nationwide boycott of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) called REFORM The Catholic Campaign For Human Development with a website.  The Sunday before Thanksgiving a collection is done by many parishes for CCHD.  Instead of donating money to an organization that is diametrically opposed to many teachings of the Catholic Church, submit the coupon that is at the top of this posting.

You can also download a PDF file and print it out yourself here.

The many scandals that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) never ceases to amaze.  It’s been well documented how insidious and diabolical CCHD is from funding ACORN to funding abortions.

Continue reading...

20 Responses to Boycott Upcoming Catholic Campaign for Human Development Collection

  • The Catholic Media Coalition has a two-minute YouTube video about CCHD that is a quick and easy way to warn Catholics about the collection. Pass it on.

  • I first learned of CCHD’s shennanigans after last year’s elections. I could have vomitted. We truly are our own worst enemies. I felt like leaving the Church, except there is no where better to go. These dopey bishops and priests who crave worldly acceptance are a terrible problem. I will print out a thousand of these coupons and start passing them out today.

  • Daledog,

    I intend to do the same at the more orthodox parishes.

  • Another beaut involving the Archdiocese of Chicago.

    http://tinyurl.com/yf4nhqe

  • Dear me, I’ve given to them in the past, vaguely supposing I was helping to feed and clothe the poor.
    Thank you for the tip.

    I am feeling a bit disheartened today. It’s bad enough that I no longer trust many secular institutions – the media and the people of both parties who supposedly represent my interests in DC – I have to bring that mistrust to Mass with me. I can’t trust that money given in a second collection will be used for good purposes. It’s very depressing.

  • Didn’t Jesus have something to say about making His Father’s House into a den of thieves?

  • I regret to say ican’t join the boycot.

    When a discussion of this group came up 10 or 15 yeras ago, just ignoring the accuations, the explantiohs provided by its supporters were so lame I decided I would rather give to other organazitions that at least promised to do somethng useful.

  • Hank,

    You can’t join the boycott, yet you give to other organizations that are not CCHD?

    OK, did I miss something or did you mistype?

  • I’m wondering if Hank quite understands what a boycott is. I’m guessing, from his comments, that he thinks it means ‘supporting’ a group.

  • Or perhaps he can’t BEGIN boycotting because he already started 10 years ago.

  • AKL’s second comment has it.

  • Pingback: Not One Cent « The American Catholic
  • Pingback: My final sermonette on boycotting the CHD « Churchmouse Campanologist
  • Pingback: Is Bishop Roger Morin Mendaciously Defending CCHD? « The American Catholic
  • We must not give to those organizations that are utilizing the money to do things that are against our believes and teachings.

  • Pingback: Bishop Bruskewitz Brings the Smackdown on CCHD « The American Catholic
  • I have served on a committee for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. It is an outstanding organization from local committees to national. There are many checks and balances that insure Catholic teachings are upheld. They focus on de-institutionalizing poverty hence their slogan of a hand up rather than a hand out. I quadrupled my giving to them this past year and invite others to find out the truth and trust their money can find no better charity.

  • Paul A.,

    You and your cohorts are going to have to donate more than 4x the amount next year in your cooperation with evil.

    The more of a bright spotlight we put on CCHD, the more the cockroaches will finally be stamped out of it.

  • Paul said, “I…invite others to find out the truth and trust their money can find no better charity.”

    This is no doubt absolutely true if you are a pro-abortion, pro-homosexual leftwing liberal. Congratulations to the CCHD for pulling the wool over the eyes of faithful Catholics for so long.

  • Most devout Catholics would never knowingly support pro-abortion groups.

    Yet on November 21st, many Catholics throughout the Arlington Diocese will unwittingly donate to organizations that promote abortion, homosexual marriage, and contraception.

    That is because, despite the extensive publicity regarding CCHD’s funding of questionable groups, Bishop Paul S. Loverde of the Diocese of Arlington plans to go forward with the collection next month for CCHD.

    Most people already know that CCHD gave millions of dollars to ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) before news of ACORN’s scandalous activities made national headlines. However, many people are not aware that CCHD continues to fund dozens of similar groups that promote abortion, contraception, homosexual marriage and other activities that are in direct conflict with Church teachings.

    Hundreds of parishioners have already urged Bishop Loverde to withdraw his support of CCHD by signing the Prayerful Petition found at http://www.NoMoreCCHD.com We remain hopeful that Bishop Loverde will join other American bishops who have already withdrawn their support for CCHD.

    Sincerely,

    Jeffrey E. Knight

    466 Long Mountain Road
    Washington, VA 22747
    (540)675-1440

CNN and HuffPo Feeling Heat Over False Racist Quotes to Rush Limbaugh

Friday, October 16, AD 2009

[Updates at the bottom of this post as of 4:21pm CDT 10-16-2009 AD]

This week there has been a whirlwind of character assassination done by the mainstream media to conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh’s bid to purchase the St. Louis Rams (American) football team of the National Football League (NFL).   They have been accusing Mr. Limbaugh of saying several racist quotes without confirming their existence.  All the alleged racist quotes have been debunked by Snopes earlier this week as well as being denied by Mr. Limbaugh.  Additionally many in the mainstream media have been unable to find any evidence of these allegations.

But today there has been a sudden realization of regret when the heat turned up on their yellow journalism.  Regret that some elements of the mainstream media were involved in libel and slander.

The most prominent of the yellow journalists are liberal news anchors Anderson Cooper and Rick Sanchez of the left-of-center CNN, sports columnist Bryan Burwell of the liberal St. Louis Dispatch, and finally the liberal Huffington Post (HuffPo) blog.

Continue reading...

10 Responses to CNN and HuffPo Feeling Heat Over False Racist Quotes to Rush Limbaugh

  • If I were a St. Louis Rams fan, I would not want an owner who couldn’t tell how good a quarterback Donovan McNabb was (at least before his injuries).

  • I would not want an owner who couldn’t tell how good a quarterback Donovan McNabb was

    Sigh. You know, Rush never actually said Donovan McNabb wasn’t a good quarterback. In fact he has repeatedly said that he is. The whole fiasco was about how he felt the media portrayed McNabb – a point that Chris Collinsworth actually all but confirmed the very next week when he overhyped McNabb’s role in an Eagles’ victory that was all but due to the defense.

  • BTW, somewhat tangentially, a person can be deemed overrated who, noentheless, is still a great player. Case in point: Derek Jeter. Jeter is no doubt a Hall of Fame caliber ballplayer, yet at the same time he is completely over-hyped by a fawning media. At the time Rush made the comments I think it’s fair to say that McNabb, while a very good player, was probably slightly overrated by the media. Even if you don’t think the media was motivated by racial considerations, I thought at the time that such a consideration was fair.

  • Being a liberal means never saying you’re sorry.

  • Yeah, I thought Rush’s comment was probably correct, but imprudent for exactly the reason that has manifested this past week. People with agendas would twist his words to manipulate people without gray matter.

  • This is on of the many instances where the mainstream media tries to silence crazy uncle Rush, not because of what he says, but because they disagree with his point of view and are jealous of his following and his wealth.

    If he hasn’t pulled a Pete Rose (or something similar), why would he not be allowed partial ownership of a sports team? I guess I will never understand that one…

  • Speaking of bad journalism… Anderson Cooper did -not- use the false quotes, he merely pointed out they weren’t accurate, which is an example of yellow journalism? Logic fail.

  • No one destroyed Rush Limbaugh…he is still going strong…those who lied will have their lies backfire on them at some point…what goes around, comes around. Actually, Rush would probably not have had as much time for his radio show so the liars have enabled Rush to stay and fight against the radicals who have infiltrated our adminstration and our country. Way to go!!!!

  • Paul, Just this guy,

    Being a liberal means never saying you’re sorry.

    That was funny!

Carter Tries to Deny He Said Obama Critics Driven By Race

Thursday, October 1, AD 2009

Former President Jimmy Carter was interviewed by CNN’s Candy Crowley who questioned him on why he accused “an Jimmy Carteroverwhelming portion” of tea party protesters and others that oppose current President Obama as racists.  Jimmy Carter responded by denying he ever made such a claim.  Several times Candy Crowley tried to ask President Carter to explain himself and each time President Carter denied he even said any such thing.

Am I hearing this right?  The following video shows the portion of the video where Candy Crowley is interviewing President Carter and then at the end it shows a clip of what President Carter said.  Truly amazing that He would have the audacity to lie on national cable television.

[vodpod id=Groupvideo.3546910&w=425&h=350&fv=]

Matthew Balan of NewsBusters has the complete story on this development here.

Continue reading...

12 Responses to Carter Tries to Deny He Said Obama Critics Driven By Race

  • Jimmy Carter responded by denying he ever made such a claim.

    File this under the same category as: “I did not have sexual relations with that woman”.

  • At first I would say under my breath questioning his senility. Now I feel sad for the man.

  • This is the same peanut farmer who, after making a deal way back when with the North Koreans regarding their development of nuclear technology, told CNN: “I think it’s all roses now”.

    Yeah, right.

  • I still can’t get that petulant smile of Madeline Allbright that was showing during her North Korean visit when she was all grins during the Dear Leaders parade for her visit to Pyongyang.

  • File this under the same category as: “I did not have sexual relations with that woman”.

    Well, I see what you mean. But Carter’s statement wasn’t made under oath.

    It is obvious from this that Carter realizes his blunder and is back-tracking from the stupid and wrongheaded remark. You can’t gain points from calling everyone on one side of a policy issue “racists”.

  • Carter was senile when he was President, and he’s even more senile now. It’s actually sad. This isn’t a case of his being evil. He’s just senile and should be taken care of in a nice rest home where anything he says no longer gets any publicity or credibility.

  • He wasn’t senile when President. He was book-smart and moral to the point of being Pollyannaish.

    He was so fundamentally ignorant of evil and sneakiness in the world that he was utterly incompetent either to engage in international relations, or to be discerning of the motives of his left-leaning political allies.

    He was, sad to say, as innocent as doves, and as wise as doves.

    So, he did a pretty bad job. But not a uniquely bad job.

    As a former president, his record is also mixed, though generally negative. He does quite well when, through the Carter Center, he does uncomplicated local community “good deeds” — rounding up donations for housing and the like.

    It is when he gets involved with international relations or other politically complicated topics, that he once again exceeds his realm of competence, and elicits groans from those of us who call Georgia home.

    A decent man, in the end…but one who, as described in the Peter Principle, was promoted to (perhaps far past) his threshold of incompetence.

  • R.C.,

    What a very interesting perspective that you’ve shed on President Carter. That’s probably the best examination of the man of heard yet.

    For the record, his state of mind has been a concern for the past two years. Now I don’t question it.

    I only feel sadness for the man.

  • Jimmah does not seem to be aware that a thing called “YouTube” exists and the ordinary peasants out there can access it and see for themselves what he originally said. And it can be done with a few key strokes and a couple of mouse clicks.

    This new-fangled Internet thingy is such a pesky inconvienence to old-time pols. They can’t simply deny the idiotic and offensive things they said the day before yesterday, with the help of soliticious reporters who toss them softballs.

  • True Donna, although it is amusing watching them try. A sympathetic press is only of marginal utility in the days of YouTube and blogs. This is really killing off the “mainstream media”, that is now widely regarded as a mere propaganda organ for the Democrat party. Why read Pravda when the truth is available for free on the internet?

  • Sorry, but I disagree that Carter is a “decent man”. He’s a bitter hypocrite and a grandstander. He is a petty, mean, and vindictive man who, in contrast to the tradition of former Presidents to avoid criticizing their successors in office, has engaged in unseemly, ungracious, and self-aggrandizing sniping from the sidelines. The final straw was accusing anyone who disagrees with President Obama of being “racist”. So-called “decent men” don’t calumniate with such broad strokes.

    I’ll grant him the good he’s done with Habitat for Humanity, but I’m just no longer willing to sit back and listen whenever Carter is described as a “decent man”.

  • Judging by some of the thing his former Secret Service detail have said, I’d say Jimmy Cater is not a nice man at all.

Are You A Racist?

Monday, September 21, AD 2009

obamaflowchart21

Hattip to Powerline.  Jimmy Carter, incredibly enough one time President of the United States, believes a good portion of the opposition to Obama is racist.  Hmmm.  With Mr. Carter’s record on race, one could suspect that he might have a passing familiarity with racism.  The Obama administration quickly indicated that President Obama does not agree with his predecessor.  However, moogrogue at Missourah.com thoughtfully put together the above chart so that we may determine if we are racists according to the view enunciated by President 39.  Too bad Billy Carter is deceased and can’t be questioned about his elder brother’s statement.  I am sure it would be quotable and colorful as was this observation about his family: 
“My mother went into the Peace Corps when she was sixty-eight. My one sister is a motorcycle freak, my other sister is a Holy Roller evangelist and my brother is running for president. I’m the only sane one in the family.”

Continue reading...

101 Responses to Are You A Racist?

  • Methinks thou doth protest too much.

  • Ithinks thou hast no comprehension.

  • Well, if you have to rant that you aren’t a racist, it probably means you are. It’s like not trusting the guy that has to say trust me. If he has to plead to be trusted that says it all doesn’t it??

    You probably think Fox news is ‘fair and balanced’ too right??

  • Joe,

    Yeah, there’s nothing like declaring innocence that proves guilt, right? Give me a break.

  • You never took a logic course did you Joe? I posted this to hold up ex-pres Jimmuh to public ridicule.

    As to Fox, it is the network, judging from the ratings, that people are watching if they wish to have to have a clue about what is going on in the nation. Most of the rest of the media is too busy playing defense for Obama to have any interest in reporting on something as mundane as the news.

  • Well, if you declare your innocence when directly questioned, then yes, you are right. But if you offer a defense to something WITHOUT being accused, that says something.

    And yes many times declaring innocence is a way to hide the truth.

    “i did not have sexual relations with that women”

    “saddam hussein has a stockpile of WMD.”

  • One million wrong people don’t make it right.

    Does that mean islam is the #1 religion because there are more of them than any other religion??

  • Methinks Joe is entitled to a refund on that “formal education” he was bragging about earlier.

    Did he really get “formally educated”?? I’m starting to think he isn’t “formally educated”, or at least with a “formal education” I wouldn’t pay for.

    /paraphrase

  • Joe,

    You can add to your list “Abortion will not be covered in the Health Care bill.”

  • Unbelievable.

    Are you guys going to let this troll hijack every discussion?

    As for myself, following the chart above, I made it all the way to the very last “RACIST!”

  • Hoe (the troll, not Hargrave):

    When did you stop beating your wife?

  • The troll amuses me for the moment Joe H. When he ceases to amuse me I will show him the ban door.

  • It’s scary that they only reason all of you don’t murder and rape people is because of the spaghetti monster in the sky. Enlightened people don’t need to be threatened to know how to behave morally.

    It’s also deliciously ironic to get you guys to act very unchristian towards me.

    Your jesus must be proud.

    Go ahead and ban me. Censorship. That’s how religion deals with differing opinions so I suspect nothing less.

  • Joe,

    We’ve heard all this trope before. It’s old hat. At least be original if you’re going to come onto someone else’s blog and make an ass of yourself.

  • Well now, there’s an intelligent argument. You must have seen “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” this weekend.

  • I knew it was only a matter of time before Joe misapplied our own standards against us. Standards, I might add, to which he refuses to hold himself.

    LOL!

    Only slightly arrogant, I suppose, to think that you get to set such terms of debate for yourself.

  • Christians, like all humans, only have standards when it suits them.

    That’s what ‘sinning’ is. Dropping your standards momentarily for personal gain or survival, and NO ONE on this blog can honestly say they’ve never done that.

  • “It’s scary that they only reason all of you don’t murder and rape people is because of the spaghetti monster in the sky.”

    It’s actually more sad to me, than it is scary to you, that you have absolutely no rational basis for any good thing you do.

    I presume that you typically only believe in things that have evidence to support them.

    There is no scientific evidence for good or evil. You have belief without scientific evidence. You have faith.

    The only difference between us is that we acknowledge it and embrace it within a logically consistent framework, whereas you deny it. You live in a contradiction. One day, if you are honest with yourself, if you are humble enough to admit that you don’t know all there is to know, you will realize that.

    Philosophy 101, my fellow Joe – you can’t derive an “ought” from an “is”. In a random universe, rape and murder are just rape and murder. That we find such an idea appalling and unbearable suggests that we are designed/evolved to strive for moral truth, which cannot exist without God. God is the logical conclusion of all of the striving, hopes, and desires of humanity.

  • Folks,

    Look, I agree our visiting atheist here is just spouting off, but either ignore it or take the time to be substantive on it. Responding at the low level that he’s taking just takes up space and does little to actually answer the objections of unbelievers. (I don’t think you’re required to take up lots of time answering him, because I doubt he’s really inquiring at the moment, but there’s not much point in just sniping back.)

    JoeFromQC,

    Enlightened people don’t need to be threatened to know how to behave morally.

    No one needs to be threatened in order to behave morally, and I think any serious reading of the moral theology of Christianity will show you that this is not what Christian moral thinking consists of. However, it is actually rather difficult to come up with any clear understanding of what is “moral” without admitting the existence of any sort of absolute. Behavioralists come up with various “we instinctually see certain actions as good because they’re good for the species” but these don’t actually provide us with morality in the sense that humans naturally desire it in that they don’t provide absolute guidance. It’s easy to explain biologically why we can’t have people consistently killing and raping their neighbors, but it’s actually advantageous to do so occasionally and in certain circumstances from a biological point of view. However, as humans we have a fairly innate sense that moral laws ought to be absolute — that rape is actually _wrong_, not just a bad idea most of the time.

    And that’s before you even get into where it’s even possible to assert free will from a materialist point of view. If you hold that we are no more than our physical selves, then it’s hard to say whether people actually have any more responsibility for their actions then other animals do. In which case talking about doing “wrong” is rather fuzzy.

    So before lashing out at religious people as if they are fools when it comes to addressing moral questions, it might be a good idea to sit down and consider the internal tensions of your own professed position. They’re certainly not less.

  • >>>It’s actually more sad to me, than it is scary to you, that you have absolutely no rational basis for any good thing you do.

    No, you have it wrong. I do good things FOR rational reasons. I like the people I’m helping, I want my neighborhood to be nice, etc.. Those are RATIONAL reasons to do good.

    Believing you’re going to be eternally punished by an unconditionally loving god for not being good is IRRATIONAL.

    >>>I presume that you typically only believe in things that have evidence to support them.

    Presuming is like ASSuming buddy. That’s the problem. Belief and evidence are contradictory statements. To have faith or believe in something means you hold truth to be counter to the evidence provided.

    >>>There is no scientific evidence for good or evil. You have belief without scientific evidence. You have faith.

    That is just not true. There is no FAITH that convinces me Mr.Garrido is evil. If you need ‘faith’ to tell you that kidnapping an 11 year old and fathering 2 children with her is evil, you have serious problems you should go seek help for.

    >>>One day, if you are honest with yourself, if you are humble enough to admit that you don’t know all there is to know, you will realize that.

    HA!!! Well once you quit playing high and mighty maybe YOU will see the truth. I’ve never stated that I know all there is to know. That’s your team that does that.

    >>>Philosophy 101, my fellow Joe – you can’t derive an “ought” from an “is”. In a random universe, rape and murder are just rape and murder. That we find such an idea appalling and unbearable suggests that we are designed/evolved to strive for moral truth, which cannot exist without God. God is the logical conclusion of all of the striving, hopes, and desires of humanity.

    No, what makes us feel those emotions is OUR EVOLVED BRAIN. There are still tribes of people who have NEVER heard a word of the bible and have all those human qualities. Get over yourselves.

  • This post reminds me of last year’s round of remarkable logic (or, rather, reprehensible fallacy):

    If you don’t vote Obama, you’re racist!

  • Where to begin. Let’s start with faith. Faith is believing in what is revealed to us by another but not seen by myself directly. The Church would certainly agree with you that if there is empirical evidence then faith cannot contradict that.

    What you would seem to be referring to would be faith in God as you yourself have faith in may things – science for one. But belief in God is something that is apparent from reason alone and does not need faith. For example Aristotle held that there was the unmoved mover (God) apart from any religious claims. See his argument here:

    http://uk.geocities.com/frege@btinternet.com/ontological/aristotleontological.htm

    Now this argument again is from pure reason. Thus for Aristotle the existence of God was given from reason.

    Now as for the personal God of faith and of Jesus, that becomes an argument from Revelation and the reliability of witnesses to Jesus’ life and resurrection. This does require a level of belief as I did not see him rise personally from the dead. Much as you take as articles of faith a number of scientific propositions as you did not prove them yourself.

  • Not voting for Obama doesn’t make you racist.

    But needing to repeat your non racism ad nauseum makes people wonder.

    If I went to the corner with a sign that said ‘I am not a sexual offender’ every day, pretty soon SOMEONE would rightfully get worried and check my background.

    The more you rail against something the more you are trying to hide something about yourself.

  • “No, what makes us feel those emotions is OUR EVOLVED BRAIN. There are still tribes of people who have NEVER heard a word of the bible and have all those human qualities. Get over yourselves.”

    Actually Joe we had a lab experiment running in the last century in Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union and Mao’s China as to what would happen when people forsook morality based upon God and embraced morality based upon human precepts. The results were not pretty to say the least. Without God morality is merely a matter of opinon and superior force to impose those opinions.

  • No, you have it wrong. I do good things FOR rational reasons. I like the people I’m helping, I want my neighborhood to be nice, etc.. Those are RATIONAL reasons to do good.

    How is helping people you like, wanting your neighborhood to be “nice”, etc., all “rational” reasons to do good?

    Sorry, but your rather conspicuous petitio principii leaves all wanting.

    Believing you’re going to be eternally punished by an unconditionally loving god for not being good is IRRATIONAL.

    Eternally punished by an unconditionally loving god for not being good is irrational?

    If you’re going to use our religion against us, you might as well get it right: it is not our “GOD” who punishes us; it is we who deliberately choose against Him and, thus, by choice we opt for an eternal life absent of Him.

    No, what makes us feel those emotions is OUR EVOLVED BRAIN.

    I’m certain that its complex neuronal architecture is surely evidence that no such God exists and that everything man does is merely the result of haphazard neuronal firing having no actual teleological end whatsoever.

  • Phillip – Do you see how you have to bend over backwards to defend your position? Science is NOT an absolute belief. Science is adaptable. What is scientific truth today, may turn out to be something more or less depending on what we uncover in the future. Religion is the opposite. You HAVE to believe things AS THEY ARE. No matter how much is discovered you must still believe. Lemmings I tell you. Lemmings.

  • “But needing to repeat your non racism ad nauseum makes people wonder.”

    Joe you completely overlook the fact that this is post is a response to the trope on the left mouthed by the peanut farmer from Plains and others that opposition to Obama is largely based on racism. It is a ridiculous assertion and the chart accompanying this post demonstrates how ridiculous it is.

  • But needing to repeat your non racism ad nauseum makes people wonder.

    Repeating non racism?

    It’s “repeating non racism” to simply point out the logical flaw in the liberal’s libel: “If you don’t vote Obama, you’re racist”?

    Clearly, you are the epitome of illogic; I’ll grant you that.

  • Science is NOT an absolute belief. Science is adaptable. What is scientific truth today, may turn out to be something more or less depending on what we uncover in the future. Religion is the opposite. You HAVE to believe things AS THEY ARE. No matter how much is discovered you must still believe. Lemmings I tell you. Lemmings.

    Are you actually saying that Science does not require the same “belief” and “faith” as does religion?

    Kindly produce for me a quanta so that I need not have simply “belief” or even “faith” in its existence; then, I shall have proof that what you say here is true!

    My, oh my, you are worse than a lemming, as your lurid imbecility in these series of comments demonstrates.

  • >>>Actually Joe we had a lab experiment running in the last century in Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union and Mao’s China as to what would happen when people forsook morality based upon God and embraced morality based upon human precepts. The results were not pretty to say the least. Without God morality is merely a matter of opinon and superior force to impose those opinions.

    Well, if things like burning heretics at the stake, and the spanish inquisition, and the church allowing the holocaust to happen weren’t in the church’s past, you’d have a point. But…….

    Not to mention you’re wrong about hitler. He fought against the ‘godless communism’ and considered himself religious, and believed ‘god’ was an active deity that supported the Aryan race.

  • Joe,

    No. Again, it is rational to know that God exists. You can read Aristotle’s argument if you wish.

  • Aww, isn’t that precious. E thinks he’s smart… LOL

    No one has said all of it is based on racism. But things like a poster that says Obama 08 with a picture of curious george on it. That is racist. You are fools if you think none of this is based on race.

  • It is never rational to believe in something that there is zero evidence for.

  • Oh Joe.

    “Belief and evidence are contradictory statements. To have faith or believe in something means you hold truth to be counter to the evidence provided.”

    Belief is just another way of saying “hold to be true”. You are splitting hairs.

    Also, why can’t faith or belief be held in the absence of empirical evidence? When you say “contrary to the evidence”, you are asserting that we’ve looked at evidence and rejected it. But the Christian faith has done no such thing; there is no material process or phenomenon that is not fully incorporated into a Christian worldview.

    Rather, it is those aspects of life that materialism and the scientific method alone cannot explain – starting with the conditions for the existence of good and evil as objective categories independent of the human mind – that are completely rejected by the militant atheist.

    But let us get to the very important thing.

    I said:

    “There is no scientific evidence for good or evil. You have belief without scientific evidence. You have faith.”

    You replied:

    “That is just not true. There is no FAITH that convinces me Mr.Garrido is evil.”

    Then, what, I ask, does convince you? Personal feelings? Subjective experience? Why, these sound like the sort of things that believers have used to justify their belief in God for centuries. Not a very rigorous application of the scientific method there, is it? And yet there is a truth there all the same.

    You’re trying to take the hard things in life – evils such as rape and murder, and our response to them as humans – and place them in a box that is “off limits” to rational inquiry and objective analysis. You declare that anyone who wants to explore them is sick and warped.

    That’s not very scientific. It sounds like a nervous evasion.

    “If you need ‘faith’ to tell you that kidnapping an 11 year old and fathering 2 children with her is evil, you have serious problems you should go seek help for.”

    This is the ad homoniem that many atheists resort to when they cannot come up with a rational explanation for their beliefs.

    You believe our default mode of existence is to accept and believe things without any scientific evidence to support them. I would say that that is exactly what religious people have always believed about man. Your faith stops with your morality; ours stops with the only possible condition for the existence of good and evil outside of our minds.

    You declare this act to evil on the basis of no evidence. You have faith that it is evil.

  • The belief in the empirical is an act of faith. That’s part of your Scientism.

  • That should read “the belief in the empirical only…”

  • Apparently, a guy who thinks “If you vote Obama, you’re racist” is logical and possess such eloquence as to employ “LOL” is clearly clever.

    Too bad it speaks more as concerning his incorrigible stupidity than anything else.

  • >>>Then, what, I ask, does convince you? Personal feelings? Subjective experience? Why, these sound like the sort of things that believers have used to justify their belief in God for centuries. Not a very rigorous application of the scientific method there, is it? And yet there is a truth there all the same.

    No there isn’t. You saying something is true does not make it so. What convinces me that it is wrong?

    Morality. You do not need faith to have morality.

    If you need faith to tell you a middle age man kidnapping and fathering children with an underage girl is wrong, you need serious help. Like right now. Call a doctor.. Oh wait, just ask ‘god’ to heal you.. LOL

  • >>>Apparently, a guy who thinks “If you vote Obama, you’re racist” is logical and possess such eloquence as to employ “LOL” is clearly clever.

    I never said those things. Typical. I can’t debate what he’s talking about so I’ll make stuff up.

    >>>Too bad it speaks more as concerning his incorrigible stupidity than anything else.

    Aww, how christian of you. Not really loving your enemy are you??

  • It is never rational to believe in something that there is zero evidence for.

    Really, Joe?

    Then, there goes most of the scientific theories that we simply take for granted.

  • “Morality. You do not need faith to have morality.”

    Please provide proof that ‘morality’ is necessary or that it is even ‘rational’.

    (Not that I deem you capable of even performing such a feat or that you are sufficiently intelligent to detect exactly the point of the inquiry.)

  • No, that’s not true. There is no scientific theory that hasn’t been tested. Newton didn’t just write “there is a law of gravity” He studied it, and found out the rate, and realized it was CONSTANT.

    Religion says take this as truth but don’t question or test it.

  • >>(Not that I deem you capable of even performing such a feat or that you are sufficiently intelligent to detect exactly the point of the inquiry.)

    Spoken like a true christian. Kudos to you sir.

  • JoeQC said: “Well, if things like burning heretics at the stake, and the spanish inquisition, and the church allowing the holocaust to happen weren’t in the church’s past, you’d have a point. But…….”

    This is really, really digging back into the past though, if one is talking about the Inquisition or Salem Witch Trials. To stand back, talking of things 500 years ago really seems to dilute the point.

    JoeQC sadly, must have been let down with his concept of the divine or religion. That is what I think.

  • “I never said those things. Typical. I can’t debate what he’s talking about so I’ll make stuff up.”

    And we never posted up any such Obama poster with Curious George on it. So, perhaps it is you who should quit “making stuff up”.

    “Awww, how Christian of you.”

    I can’t help it if you’re yet another stupid modern-day Galatian incapable of grasping logic.

  • In regard to Hitler here are some of his diatribes against the Church contained in his “Table Talk” compiled following the war from notes taken at the time he spoke:

    ‘The war will be over one day. I shall then consider that my life’s final task will be to solve the religious problem. Only then Will the life of the German native be guaranteed once and for all.”

    “The evil that’s gnawing our vitals is our priests, of both creeds. I can’t at present give them the answer they’ve been asking for, but it will cost them nothing to wait. It’s all written down in my big book. The time will come when I’ll settle my account with them, and I’ll go straight to the point.”

    “I don’t know which should be considered the more dangerous: the minister of religion who play-acts at patriotism, or the man who openly opposes the State. The fact remains that it’s their maneuvers that have led me to my decision. They’ve only got to keep at it, they’ll hear from me, all right. I shan’t let myself be hampered by juridical scruples. Only necessity has legal force. In less than ten years from now, things will have quite another look, I can promise them.”

    “We shan’t be able to go on evading the religious problem much longer. If anyone thinks it’s really essential to build the life of human society on a foundation of lies, well, in my estimation, such a society is not worth preserving. If’ on the other hand, one believes that truth is the indispensable foundation, then conscience bids one intervene in the name of truth, and exterminate the lie.”

    “Once the war is over we will put a swift end to the Concordat. It will give me the greatest personal pleasure to point out to the Church all those occasions on which it has broken the terms of it. One need only recall the close cooperation between the Church and the murderers of Heydrich. Catholic priests not only allowed them to hide in a church on the outskirts of Prague, but even allowed them to entrench themselves in the sanctuary of the altar.”

    “The fact that I remain silent in public over Church affairs is not in the least misunderstood by the sly foxes of the Catholic Church, and I am quite sure that a man like the Bishop von Galen knows full well that after the war I shall extract retribution to the last farthing. And, if he does not succeed in getting himself transferred in the meanwhile to the Collegium Germanium in Rome, he may rest assured that in the balancing of our accounts, no “T” will remain uncrossed, no “I” undotted!”

    At Nuremburg after the war the Prosecution noted the Nazi hostitility to Christianity:

    “We come now to deal with the responsibility of the defendant Bormann with respect to the persecution of the Church. The defendant Bormann authorised, directed and participated in measures involving the persecution of the Christian Church. The Tribunal, of course, has heard much in this proceeding concerning the acts of the conspiracy involving the persecution of the Church. We have no desire now to rehash that evidence. We are interested in one thing alone, and that is nailing on the defendant Bormann his responsibility, his personal, individual responsibility, for that persecution.

    I shall now present the proofs showing the responsibility of Bormann with respect to such persecution of the Christian Churches.

    Bormann was among the most relentless enemies of the Christian Church and Christian Clergy in Germany and in German-occupied Europe. I refer the Tribunal, without quoting therefrom, to Document D-75, previously introduced in evidence as Exhibit USA 348, which contains a copy of the secret Bormann decree of 6th June, 1941, entitled “The Relationship of National Socialism to Christianity.” In this decree, as the Tribunal will well recall, Bormann bluntly declared that National Socialism and Christianity were incompatible, and he indicated that the ultimate aim of the conspirators was to assure the elimination of Christianity itself.

    I next refer the Tribunal, without quotation, to Document 098-PS, previously put in as Exhibit USA 350. This is a letter from the defendant Bormann to the defendant Rosenberg, dated 22nd February, 1940, in which Bormann reaffirms the incompatibility of Christianity and National Socialism.

    Now, in furtherance of the conspirators’ aim to undermine the Christian Churches, Bormann took measures to eliminate the influence of the Christian Church from within the Nazi Party and its formations. I now offer in evidence Document 113-PS, as Exhibit USA 683. This is an order of the defendant Bormann, dated 27th July, 1938, issued as Chief of Staff to the Deputy of the

    [Page 300]

    Fuehrer, Hess, which prohibits clergymen, from holding Party offices. I shall not take the time of the Tribunal to put this quotation upon the, record. The point of it is, as indicated, that Bormann issued an order-forbidding the appointment of clergymen to Party positions.
    THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps this would be a good time to break off for ten minutes.

    (A recess was taken.)

    LIEUTENANT LAMBERT: May it please the Tribunal, we are dealing with the efforts of the defendant Bormann to expel and eliminate from the Party all Church and religious influence.

    I offer in evidence Document 838-PS, as Exhibit USA 684. I shall not burden the record with extensive quotation from this exhibit, but merely point out that this is a copy of a Bormann decree dated 3rd June, 1939, which laid it down that followers of Christian Science should be excluded from the Party.

    The attention of the Tribunal is next invited to Document 840-PS, previously introduced in evidence as Exhibit USA 355. The Tribunal will recall that this, was a Bormann decree of 14th July, 1939, referring with approval to an earlier Bormann decree of 9th February, 1937, in which he had ruled, that in the future all Party members who entered the clergy or who undertook the study of theology were to be expelled from the Party.

    I next offer in evidence Document 107-PS, Exhibit USA 3M. This is a circular directive of the defendant Bormann dated 17th June, 1938, addressed to all Reichsleiters and Gauleiters, top leaders of the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party, transmitting a copy of directions relating. to the non-participation of the Reich Labour Service in religious celebrations. The Reich Labour Service, the Tribunal will recall, compulsorily incorporated all Germans within its organisation.

    DR. BERGOLD (Counsel for defendant Bormann): The member of the prosecution has just submitted a number of documents, in which he proves that, on the suggestion of Bormann, members of the Christian religion were to be excluded from the Party, or from certain organisations. I beg the High Tribunal to allow the member of the prosecution to explain to me how and why Bormann’s activity, that is, the exclusion of Christians from the Party, can be a War Crime. I cannot gather this evidence from the trial brief. The Party is described as a criminal conspiracy. Is it a crime to exclude certain people from membership in a criminal conspiracy? Is that considered a crime? How and why is the exclusion of certain members from the Party a crime?

    THE PRESIDENT: Counsel will answer you.

    LIEUTENANT LAMBERT: If the Tribunal will willingly accommodate argument at this stage, we find that the question –

    THE PRESIDENT: Only short argument.

    LIEUTENANT LAMBERT: Yes, Sir – admits of a short, and, as it seems to us, easy answer.

    The point we are now trying to prove – and evidence is abounding on it – is that Bormann had a hatred and an enmity and took oppositional measures towards the Christian Church. The Party was the repository of political power in Germany. To have power one had to be in the Party or subject to its favour. By his efforts, concerted, continuing and consistent, to exclude clergymen, theological students or any persons sympathetic to the Christian, religion, Bormann could not have chosen a clearer method of showing and demonstrating his, hatred and his distrust of the Christian religion and those who supported it.

    THE PRESIDENT: Counsel for Bormann can present his argument upon this subject at a later stage. The documents appear to the Tribunal to be relevant.

    LIEUTENANT LAMBERT: With the Tribunal’s permission, I had just put in Document 107-PS and pointed out that it transmitted directions relating to the

    [Page 301]

    non-participation of the Reich Labour Service in religious celebrations. I quote merely the fourth and fifth paragraphs of Page 1 of the English translation of Document 107-PS, which reads as follows:
    “Every religious discussion is forbidden in the Reich Labour Service because it disturbs the comrade-like harmony of all working men and women.
    For this reason also, every participation of the Reich Labour Service in Church, i.e., religious, arrangements and celebrations is not possible.”

    The attention of the Tribunal is next invited to Document 070-PS, previously put in as Exhibit USA 349. The Tribunal will recall that this was a letter from Bormann’s office to the defendant Rosenberg, dated 25th April, 1941, in which Bormann declared that he had achieved progressive success in reducing and abolishing religious services in schools, and in replacing Christian prayers with National Socialist mottoes and rituals. In this letter, Bormann also proposed a Nazified morning service in the schools, in place of the existing confession and morning service.
    In his concerted efforts to undermine and subvert the Christian churches, Bormann authorised, directed and participated in measures leading to the closing, reduction and suppression of theological schools, faculties and institutions. The attention of the Tribunal is invited to Document 116-PS, Exhibit USA 685, which I offer in evidence. This is a letter from the defendant Bormann to the defendant Rosenberg, dated 24th January, 1939, enclosing, for Rosenberg’s cognisance, a copy of Bormann’s letter to the Reich Minister for Science, Training and Public Education. In the enclosed letter, Bormann informs the Minister as to the Party’s position in favour of restricting and suppressing theological faculties. Bormann states that, owing to war conditions, it had become necessary to reorganise the German high schools, and in view of this situation, he requested the Minister to restrict and suppress certain theological faculties.

    I now quote from the first paragraph on Page 3 of the English translation of Document 116-PS, which reads as follows:

    “I, therefore, would like to see you put the theological faculties under appreciable limitations in so far as, according to the above statements, they cannot be entirely eliminated. This will concern not only the theological faculties at universities, but also the various State institutions which, as seminaries having no affiliation with any university, still exist in many places. I request you not to give any express explanations to churches or other institutions and to avoid public announcement of these measures. Complaints and the like, if they are to be answered at all, must be countered with this explanation, that these measures are carried out in the course of planned economy, and that the same is being done to other, faculties. I would be glad, if the professorial chairs thus made vacant could then be turned over to the fields of research newly created in recent years, such as racial research and archaeology.
    “Martin Bormann.”

    In our submission, what this document comes to is a request from Bormann to this effect: “Please close down the religious faculties and substitute in their place Nazi faculties and university chairs, with the mission of investigating racialism, cultism, Nazi archaeology.” This sort of thing was done in the Hohe Schule, as was so clearly demonstrated in the prosecution’s case against the plundering activities of the Einsatzstab Rosenberg.
    The attention of the Tribunal is next invited to Document 122-PS, previously put in as Exhibit USA 362. The Tribunal will recall that 122-PS is a letter from the defendant Bormann to the defendant Rosenberg, dated 17th April, 1939, transmitting to Rosenberg a photostatic copy of the plan of the Reich

    [Page 302]

    Minister of Science, Training and Public Education for the combining and dissolving of certain specified theological faculties. In his letter of transmittal, Bormann requested Rosenberg “to take cognizance and prompt action” with respect to the proposed suppression of religious institutions.
    I next offer in evidence Document 123-PS, Exhibit USA 686. This is a confidential letter from the defendant Bormann to the Minister of Education, dated 23rd June, 1939, in which Bormann sets forth the Party’s decision to order the suppression of numerous theological faculties and religious institutions. The Tribunal will note that the letter lists 19 separate religious institutions with respect to which Bormann ordered dissolution or restriction.

    After directing the action to be taken by the Minister in connection with the various theological faculties, Bormann stated as follows, and I quote from the next to last paragraph of Page 3 of the English translation of Document 123-PS:

    “In the above I have informed you of the Party’s wishes, after thorough, investigation of the matter with all Party offices. I would be grateful if you would initiate the necessary measures as quickly as possible. With regard to the great political significance which every single case of such a combination will have for the Gau concerned, I ask you to take these measures, and particularly to fix dates for them always in agreement with me.”
    I next offer in evidence, without quotation, Document 131- PS, as Exhibit USA 687. In summary, without quotation therefrom, this is a letter from the defendant Bormann to the defendant Rosenberg, dated 12th December, 1939, relating to the suppression of seven professorships in the near-by University of Munich.
    Now, I deal briefly with the responsibility of Bormann for the confiscation of religious property and cultural property. Bormann used his paramount power and position to cause the confiscation of religious property and to subject the Christian churches and clergy to a discriminatory legal regime.

    I offer in evidence Document 099-PS, Exhibit USA 688. This is a copy of a letter from Bormann to the Reich Minister for Finance, dated 19th January, 1940, in which Bormann demanded a great increase in the special war tax imposed on the churches. I quote from the first two paragraphs of Page 2 of the English translation of this document, which reads as follows:

    “As it has been reported to me, the war contribution of the churches has been specified from 1st November, 1939 on, at first, for a period of three months, at R.M. 1,800,000 per month, of which R.M. 1,000,000 are to be paid by the Protestant church, and R.M. 800,000 by the Catholic church per month. The establishment of such a low amount has surprised me. I see from numerous reports that the political communities have to raise such a large war contribution, that the execution of their tasks, partially very important – for example, in the field of public welfare – is, endangered. In consideration of that, a larger quota from the churches appears to be absolutely appropriate.”
    The question may arise: Of what criminal effect is it to demand larger taxes from church institutions? As to this demand of Bormann’s taken by itself, the prosecution would not suggest that it had a criminal effect, but when viewed within the larger frame of Bormann’s demonstrated hostility to the Christian Church, and his efforts, not merely to circumscribe but to eliminate it, we suggest that this document has probative value in showing Bormann’s hostility and his concrete measures to effectuate that hostility against the Christian churches and clergy.”

  • >>>I can’t help it if you’re yet another stupid modern-day Galatian incapable of grasping logic.

    You serve your master well.

  • “You serve your master well.”

    Thank you — so did St. Paul who said something similar!

  • >>This is really, really digging back into the past though, if one is talking about the Inquisition or Salem Witch Trials. To stand back, talking of things 500 years ago really seems to dilute the point.

    So let me get this straight. The horrors of the past that secularism caused is list able, but the 1000’s of years of church oppression aren’t. Check.

    >>>JoeQC sadly, must have been let down with his concept of the divine or religion. That is what I think.

    You hit it on the head.. When I developed rational thought I said ‘You mean the people I trust have been feeding me LIES all these years??? It’s pretty disheartening until you realize they’ve been brainwashed and don’t realize they’re lying to you.

  • Oh, and I’m still waiting for you to provide demonstrative proof that ‘Morality’ is indeed *rational”… again, not that you’re actually capable of doing thus but, hey, here’s some charity on my part!

  • So Paul’s word’s are more important than jesus’ who said to love your enemies?

    Typical bible thumper, only heeds what is good for them.

    Onward christian soldier, onwards.

  • Also can you provide a refutaion of Aristotle’s argument for the existence of God.

  • My ‘proof’ that morality is rational is that the code of law predates the 10 commandments.

    All of the civilizations prior to monotheism still believed in right and wrong.

    All mythologies are defined by a battle between good and evil.

  • I am “loving” my enemies but granting you an audience, however hopelessly stupid you have demonstrated yourself to be.

  • 15 Minutes later… no demonstrative proof provided concerning ‘Morality’ as actually being *rational*… nothing but typical evasions by the clearly cognitively deficient.

  • >>Also can you provide a refutaion of Aristotle’s argument for the existence of God.

    You are the one selling a good (religion). The burden of proof is on you. It’s impossible to prove that god doesn’t exist. Just like it’s impossible to prove that Unicorns, leprechauns, and superman don’t exist.

    If I went around say EXACTLY the same things you were, but I said Superman visited me instead of ‘god’. I’d be ridiculed. Just as you should be.

  • So since its impossible to prove that God doesn’t exist you’re taking it on faith?

  • My ‘proof’ that morality is rational is that the code of law predates the 10 commandments.

    All of the civilizations prior to monotheism still believed in right and wrong.

    All mythologies are defined by a battle between good and evil.

    So your ‘proof’ is based on nothing more than that primitive peoples espoused morality?

    If anything, it only proves that morality, as such, is merely the remnant of a primitive and even superstitious culture!

    So much for your *scientific* proof!

    Although, I find it quite telling that rather than provide something *scientifically-based*, you resorted to such flawed (and even self-refuting) reasoning as that (though, no surprise there)!

  • Not at all. Whereas I can’t ‘prove’ there is no god, all evidence points in that direction.

    There is real tangible evidence that the judeo-christian god is a figment of man’s imagination.

  • No, my scientific proof is the evolved human brain.

    I was merely stating that your little religion didn’t ‘invent’ morality.

  • My ‘proof’ that morality is rational is that the code of law predates the 10 commandments.

    All of the civilizations prior to monotheism still believed in right and wrong.

    All mythologies are defined by a battle between good and evil.

    How is that a proof that morality is rational? All cultures also believed in spells, curses, ghosts and gods. Do you believe in all of those and well and consider them to be rational?

    Also, your analysis is a bit off. Not all mythologies are defined by a battle between good and evil. Ancient Sumerian and Egyptian and Greek and Roman mythology were not. Norse mythology was to an extent. Dualism is certainly a common theme in ancient mythologies, but it’s not universal.

    Further, the question is not so much whether various pre-Christian and non-Christian societies believed in right and wrong, but how exactly as an atheist (and I would assume thus materialist?) can achieve a rational explanation of what makes some actions right and others wrong. Do you think that there is some objective standard of “the good” which we all have an innate understanding of? And if so, why?

  • It doesn’t matter. You guys are so afraid of a dissenting opinion I’m finding that my posts are dissappearing. You guys must think your god is pretty impotent if you’re scared of my little words.

  • JoefromQCA, hey! You forgot to mention the Crusades!

  • There are more atrocities committed by the church than I can list.

  • “Scared of [your] little words.”?

    Really?

    You quite foolishly attempted to prove to me that morality is *rational* simply because primitive people believed in it.

    To be intimidated by somebody whose intelligence quotient is no doubt less than that of a reptile is ludicrous.

  • Joe,

    Just answer the question, since you cannot show that God does not exist you take it as an article of faith.

  • It IS rational. Just because you needed to be taught what comes naturally to most doesn’t make it untrue.

    I must have hit a nerve to make you act so christianly towards me. I guess I should be glad it’s this century and all you have is words instead of weapons.

  • Just because you didn’t like the answer doesn’t mean I didn’t answer it… Oh wait, it was one that was deleted.. Hold on…

    It may be impossible to prove god doesn’t exist, but all evidence points in that direction. It’s impossible to prove that unicorns don’t exist. Do you believe in them??

  • Joe: Just answer the question, since you cannot show that God does not exist you take it as an article of faith.

    Well, since Joe argued that morality is indeed *rational* since primitive people happened to believe in it ever since; similarly, based on the same premise that Joe himself provided, believing in a Divine Providence is likewise *rational* since primitive people happened to believe in it ever since as well.

  • I never said ancient people believed in religion because it was rational, I stated that morality and laws were invented before your little invisible best friend was.

  • “It IS rational. Just because you needed to be taught what comes naturally to most doesn’t make it untrue.”

    Primitive people believed in ‘Morality’; therefore, it is *rational*.

    Primitive people believed in ‘Divine Providence’; therefore, it is *rational*.

    Just because you needed to be taught what comes naturally to most doesn’t make it untrue, Joe!

  • I suppose you probably don’t realize how incoherent that is.

    >>>Primitive people believed in ‘Morality’; therefore, it is *rational*.

    Once again, I never SAID that. I stated that morality existed before your jesus myths were invented.

  • Therefore the theory that morality exists because of ‘god’ are false.

  • ‘Morality’ existed before Jesus; therefore, it is *rational*?

    Well, sorry to say, but ‘Divine Providence’ existed even before Jesus; therefore, it too is *rational*!

  • Hearing Mr. Carter’s words, I could not but recall Mr. Reagan’s words: “There you go again”.

    Without God, without the Bible, there would be no science. Read Stanley Jaki’s works.

    “Morality is helping I like, living in a good neighborhood”. What about people you don’t like?

  • That’s the problem. You guys speak as if you hold the copyright to what is true.

    You have no idea what you are talking about. Something predating something doesn’t instantly make it rational.

    Okay let’s go a different route.

    Do you believe that 2 great pillars hold up the earth? Do you believe if you go to the tallest mountain on earth you can see the entire planet?

  • JoeFromQCA,

    Given that Christians assert that God is eternal, and that as the creator of the world God gave humanity a certain natural moral sense (an ability to perceive natural moral law) the fact that morality was envisioned prior to Jewish and Christian revelation is hardly a critique of the Abrahamic religious tradition.

    Seriously, if you’re going to critique a religious understanding of morality, you need to understand what the religious understanding of morality is first, and your antics here don’t really suggest that this is the case.

    If you want to engage in something resembling serious discussion, that’s great. Always up for a good argument when there’s the time. But this kind of hit and run spouting off has already got tired — which is probably why you’re finding yourself in and out of moderation.

  • Joe,

    If it hasn’t dawn on you, the extent of your inherent stupidity is becoming embarrassingly apparent in your rather egregiously flawed syllogisms.

    To the point, if I were you, I’d save myself from further embarrassment.

  • No, I have stated things you don’t want to hear. I’m trying to have a discussion, but all your side can say to anything is “Nuh-uh!! LALALALALA!!! How DARE you question my beliefs!!!! I’m right and you’re wrong and someday you’ll learn!!!”. Real serious open minds you have here.

  • “It may be impossible to prove that God doesn’t exist though all the evidence points in that direction.” Good you changed the wording since the previous wording hangs you. Though since the evidence points in such a direction only and does not “prove” again you are taking it on faith.

    Can I prove that a non-contingent being such as God exists? Yes, again read Aristotle’s argument. It seems you can’t do that. Why?

  • Hey look at that!! E can use big words!! Good boy!! Here’s a biscuit.

    Once again your attitude must make jesus proud. You are a boon to your religion…..

  • >>Good you changed the wording since the previous wording hangs you. Though since the evidence points in such a direction only and does not “prove” again you are taking it on faith.

    WRONG!!! I never changed my wording. I’ve never said that I could prove god doesn’t exist. No wonder you guys can’t debate anything, you make stuff up. No, ‘faith’ means that you accept something as truth although all evidence says it’s not.

    >>Can I prove that a non-contingent being such as God exists? Yes, again read Aristotle’s argument. It seems you can’t do that. Why?

  • But this kind of hit and run spouting off has already got tired —

    What I want to know is why would ‘Morality’ be considered *rational* simply because primitive people (who were actually themselves infamously *irrational*, often given to rampant & vile superstitions, some of whom even made human sacrifices in order to appease the gods) believed in it?

    In like manner, one can argue based on the same premise that ‘Divine Providence’ itself should likewise be considered *rational* since primitive people believe in it, too.

  • >>>>Can I prove that a non-contingent being such as God exists? Yes, again read Aristotle’s argument. It seems you can’t do that. Why?

    No buddy. Aristotle’s argument proves nothing. He also believed the Earth stay still while the stars and sun rotated around us. I wouldn’t be using him as your argument. I’ve noticed that you can’t point to any science that isn’t 2000 years old to prove your points…..

  • I never said that it is rational because ancient peoples believed in it. GET OFF THAT TRACK.

    I said that morality predates the judeo-christian myths, that’s it. I never said it was therefore rational thought that led to that.

  • I’m trying to have a discussion, but all your side can say to anything is “Nuh-uh!! LALALALALA!!! How DARE you question my beliefs!!!! I’m right and you’re wrong and someday you’ll learn!!!”. Real serious open minds you have here.

    Yeah, your compelling argument that *morality* must be accepted as *rational* because primitive people believed in it was quite overwhelming!

    Too bad it was nothing more than a childish troll shouting: “LALALALALA!!! How DARE you question my beliefs!!!! I’m right and you’re wrong and someday you’ll learn!!!”

  • >>Yeah, your compelling argument that *morality* must be accepted as *rational* because primitive people believed in it was quite overwhelming!

    Again, I never said that. Are you dense?? I stated that morality existed before the judeo-christian myths were invented. So the statemnt that you can’t have morality with out religion is patently false.

    >>Too bad it was nothing more than a childish troll shouting: “LALALALALA!!! How DARE you question my beliefs!!!! I’m right and you’re wrong and someday you’ll learn!!!”

    Oh no!?!?!? A troll????? Oh the humanity!! The mean ol’ christian called me a troll.

  • Let’s see. Your 12;53 post is:

    “It is impossible to prove that god doesn’t exist.”

    Your 1:13 post is:

    “It may be impossible to prove that god doesn’t exist…”

    From an unconditional to a conditional statement. Both your words. Your changes. The conclusions you draw from both require faith.

  • One example of JoeFromQCA’s remarkable logic —

    In one instance, the fool says:

    My ‘proof’ that morality is rational is that the code of law predates the 10 commandments.

    All of the civilizations prior to monotheism still believed in right and wrong.

    All mythologies are defined by a battle between good and evil.

    Then, he says in a follow-up post:

    You have no idea what you are talking about. Something predating something doesn’t instantly make it rational.

    Do we really require further evidence on just how hopelessly abysmal this individual’s intelligence happens to be?

  • DO you not understand that since I don’t talk about rationality in the first statement. Therefore my 2nd statement doesn’t contradict my first. No matter how badly you wanna ‘get me’.

    You must think of yourself as a dim bulb to keep attacking my intelligence.

  • Hey, Joe, you said:

    “My ‘proof’ that morality is rational is that the code of law predates the 10 commandments.”

    Well, I say:

    “You have no idea what you are talking about. Something predating something doesn’t instantly make it rational.”!

    Oh, and thank-you for refuting your own faulty logic!

  • ‘It is impossible’ ‘It may be impossible’ are not different statements. Just slightly different wording used in different contexts. By my saying may be, I am doing nothing more than speculating.

    Your lack of debating the issue and instead attack me says a lot about your beliefs.

  • JoeFromQCA pretty clearly has an inability to engage in rational debate. Rather than prolonging this, I for one am going to leave things where they stand and stop releasing his comments from moderation.

    If someone else sees value to doing so, feel free.

  • Poor JoeFromQCA isn’t even capable of grasping how woefully stupid he happens to appear.

    Let me try to explain with “JoeFromQCA for DUMMIES”:

    Joe, you said:

    “My ‘proof’ that morality is rational is that the CODE OF LAW predates the 10 COMMANDMENTS.”

    Then, you said:

    “Something predating something doesn’t instantly make it rational.”

    I happen to agree with the latter statement!

    “Something [CODE OF LAW] predating something [10 COMMANDMENTS] doesn’t instantly make it *rational*.”

  • Joe – you keep saying “faith” means believing in something against all the evidence. I don’t know where you got that definition of faith. Faith means believing in something which you may not be able to observe directly. For example, if you believe the witness when she says Mr. X committed the crime, you are putting faith in certain evidence – her testimony. Likewise, when you “believe” a black hole exists near some particular quadrant of space, you are putting faith in the statement of some scientist who himself is putting faith in his observation that irregular light and orbital patterns of some distant blurr means a gravitational field is acting upon it, and that field is a black hole. He’s never been there, and neither have you. That is a lot of faith.

  • c matt,

    You’ve said it better than I have. I hope Joe gets it.

  • God existed before Christianity existed as a religion, before anything or anyone ever existed.

    Morality is not about “behavior”, which can be explained deterministically. It is about choice, which cannot.

    JoeQC, you have belief without evidence – you have faith. And you insult, belittle, and question the sanity of all those who dare to question your faith.

    Even if it were true that I needed to see a doctor, it is equally true that you need to read a book about philosophy.

    You sound like a Christian fundamentalist. Maybe you should try a Baptist blog next time.

  • Joe

    There are many different definitions (or use) of the word faith, and all you are doing is equivocating, saying they are all the same. Here, you will see only one of many is “belief in which there is no proof.”

    Of course, we must also not confuse “no proof” as being “no evidence.” When people say “there is no proof” they think that means “no evidence.” Yet, faith relies upon evidence.

    1. confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another’s ability.
    2. belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.
    3. belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion: the firm faith of the Pilgrims.
    4. belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc.: to be of the same faith with someone concerning honesty.
    5. a system of religious belief: the Christian faith; the Jewish faith.
    6. the obligation of loyalty or fidelity to a person, promise, engagement, etc.: Failure to appear would be breaking faith.
    7. the observance of this obligation; fidelity to one’s promise, oath, allegiance, etc.: He was the only one who proved his faith during our recent troubles.
    8. Christian Theology. the trust in God and in His promises as made through Christ and the Scriptures by which humans are justified or saved.

  • Joe,

    That is one definition. Another is as c matt notes. As per the definition you cite, your denial of the existence of God is still a matter of faith.

  • This has been an exercise in giving a troll free reign in a thread, and the entirely predictable results that ensue. I also confess that I did this for my own amusement. Joe is obviously here only for purposes of emotional venting rather than to engage in a fruitful discussion. The resulting chaos has a sort of Three Stooges screwball comedy element, but ultimately is a waste of time. I am closing comments on this thread. Joe, you are banned from my threads on this blog. My colleagues have you in moderation, and they can decide whether or not to ban you in regard to their threads.

  • Pingback: Carter Tries to Deny He Said Obama Critics Driven By Race « The American Catholic

Understanding the Police

Friday, July 24, AD 2009

The nation (or at least, that portion of it which follows the news cycle) suddenly found itself in one of these “national conversations” about policing this week, after President Obama accused the Cambridge, Mass. police of having “acted stupidly” in arresting his friend and supporter Prof. Henry Louis Gates Jr. outside his own home for “disorderly conduct”. The police report, minus some privacy data such as addresses, can be viewed here. The short version, is as follows: Prof. Gates returned from a trip to China and found himself having trouble getting into his house, so he and his cab driver forced the door open. A passerby saw this, feared a burglary was taking place, and called the police. Officer James Crowley of CPD arrived on the scene shortly thereafter, saw Prof. Gates in the house as he approached it, and though he looked to be a resident, but knocked, explained the situation, and asked for ID to be sure.

Here the two versions of the story diverge. According to Prof. Gates, Officer Crowley repeatedly refused to identify himself, lured him out onto the porch, and then arrested him. (You can read the Professor’s version in an extended interview here.) According to Officer Crowley, Prof. Gates did provide identification, Crowley was satisfied that he was the homeowner, but Gates had immediately taken an angry tone (repeatedly accusing Crowley of treating him this way because he was black) and that Gates followed him outside, accusing him of racial bias and generally shouting at him, until after a warning Officer Crowley arrested him for disorderly conduct.

Now, I think it’s pretty appalling to be arrested at your own house for yelling at someone, even a police officer. At the same time, the police report rings a lot truer to me that Prof. Gates’. And while even given that account, I don’t like the idea of arresting someone in front of his own house for being loud and rude towards the police, it strikes me that Prof. Gates violated a lot of the very basic rules that everyone knows about interacting with police. Perhaps I can best explain with an example:

Continue reading...

29 Responses to Understanding the Police

  • I have 2 reactions to this:

    (1) I believe you are being far too deferential to what has become a great abuse of authority by law enforcement agents — they will arrest you for simply not showing them the respect they think they deserve. It might have been imprudent for Gates to yell at the cop (though as a black man in the this country, I sympathize with him), but there is no law against being rude to a cop. We are all trained to be as polite as possible around cops, as even looking at them the wrong way might risk an adverse reaction. This is a daily abuse of power that attracts minimal attention. It’s even worse when they use weapons of violence such as “tasers”. As Josh Marshall put it, this particular cop should not have gotten into a “macho pissing match which ends up getting decided in the favor of the cop because he has the handcuffs and the gun”.

    (2) Your interaction with this particular cop arises from the lack of gun control in this country. Law enforcement agents could be faced by people with guns any time. The best solution is a complete handgun ban, and let is look forward to the day when we can have an unarmed police force, as is the case elsewhere.

  • The best solution is a complete handgun ban, and let is look forward to the day when we can have an unarmed police force, as is the case elsewhere.

    What color is the sky in your world?

  • The same color as the sky of the USCCB, when they called for a handgun ban.

  • Ah yes, the USCCB, always to be relied on in a pinch as the authoritative and final voice in any conflict.

    Unless of course you disagree with them coughNotreDamecough.

  • Heather MacDonald, who has done a lot of crime stat and police research for the Manhattan Institute, is worth reading here:
    http://article.nationalreview.com/print/?q=YTU4MGE4MDkwYzhiYjY4OTk2OWRlZjcyMWY0MjFkNmE=

    Obama and Patrick are, I think, being pretty irresponsible here, especially given the police report and the strong support given by officers of varied backgrounds in the CPD.

  • (1) I believe you are being far too deferential to what has become a great abuse of authority by law enforcement agents — they will arrest you for simply not showing them the respect they think they deserve.

    Seriously, you should try reading Barker’s book — especially as someone who lives in the DC area and thus deals with another big city police department. You’re talking in stereotypes so incredibly broad that you’d mock them viciously if applied to any topic you knew anything about.

    (though as a black man in the this country, I sympathize with him)

    Interesting. I never knew you were black.

    (2) Your interaction with this particular cop arises from the lack of gun control in this country. Law enforcement agents could be faced by people with guns any time. The best solution is a complete handgun ban, and let is look forward to the day when we can have an unarmed police force, as is the case elsewhere.

    Given that the rising number of gun crimes in the UK has caused them to seriously consider arming their police now, years after enacting a total handgun ban, I’m not sure how this adds up. Also, your point about police elsewhere being unarmed doesn’t really fit with my experience of routinely seeing police carrying submachine guns in France and Italy.

  • Something tells me that cops will always be wary of whether the people they are approaching are armed.

    Anyway, my fiance got pulled over today for going 72 although she was in a 1994 Nissan Pathfinder that shudders at about 65. She was polite and nothing terrible happened (other than the ticket, but as the cop forgot to check her insurance, it was clear he was in a hurry to meet a quota). Still a BS ticket (it will be fixed), but I think cops do enough for so little payment that being polite is a reasonable thing. They’re paid too little to do too much, and they are human beings, after all.

  • The USCCB has a position on Notre Dame? I must have missed that. But while you are busy fighting symbolic battles, I care about the real world, and how policy decisions affect real people. And yes, the the “right” to own a firearm is *not* an unqualified right, and I belive it to be gravely immoral to support such an unqualified right in at atmosphere of such off-the-charts gun deaths.

    Darwin– I’m familiar with the UK debate. But let’s have some perspective– look at the gun deaths per capita here and there. Gun homicides per 100,000: 3.7, England/ Wales: 0.11. In Europe, you will often have an unarmed police force, with special divisions allowed to carry weapons (such as those dedicated to fighting organozed crime). That may be remote in the United States, but can….hope.

  • I would hazard a guess that poverty levels are a much greater influence on crime than access to guns.

    Anyhow, on the Gates affair–from everything I’ve read, it sounds like both parties behaved pretty badly, escalating it to a level where the cop took Gates into custody seemingly to avoid losing face.

  • I might suggest that constricted time horizons and the effect of same on self-control and personal discipline have an influence over poverty levels and crime rates in tandem.

  • But while you are busy fighting symbolic battles, I care about the real world, and how policy decisions affect real people. And yes, the the “right” to own a firearm is *not* an unqualified right, and I belive it to be gravely immoral to support such an unqualified right in at atmosphere of such off-the-charts gun deaths.

    Given that you have repeatedly argued that it’s appropriate for Catholics to essentially ignore the abortion legality issue in regards to politics because the issue is “dead” when only one party supports outlawing abortion, I’m not sure how arguing for a handgun ban is “real world” when neither party even remotely supports that.

    Even if one supported a total US handgun ban (which arguably would not achieve your stated objectives anyway), it is obviously a total political impossibility at this point. Why bring it up? (Note that the USCCB has not recently.)

    Besides, this is a total red herring to the topic of this post, which has to do with the appropriate interaction with police officers. In regards to which, I advise you to educate yourself if your above comments are representative of your knowledge level.

  • I advise you to educate yourself if your above comments are representative of your knowledge level.

    Seconded. How about a ridealong, MM?

  • Indeed, save the Second Amendment issues for another date; this Gates debacle has nothing to do with them and, as DC astutely observed, nothing more than a red-herring/baiting tactic.

    An irrefutable point remains that Obama acted irresponsibly and ignorantly by offering his opinion (even though he was “asked” by a pre-screened reporter), particularly in light of his own admission/preface that he did not have all the facts before him. He recklessly escalated a local, municipal issue into that of a national “race” issue.

    But, Obama has his own agenda and as has been discussed elsewhere at length, Obama’s relationship with Gates, Gates’ attorney Ogletree and Obama’s issues with (if not contempt of) the Cambridge Police Department are long-standing.

  • Gates received precisely the same treatmant a white man would have received who lipped off to the police. I have many clients who can sorrowfully attest to that fact. As I never weary of telling my clients who run afoul of the police, you treat them with courtesy, ask to see your attorney, and leave it to me to battle with them in court. This is not rocket science. Some cops are bullies, most are just normal people trying to make it through the day. Treat cops with courtesy and a situation almost always improves. Shoot your mouth off at them, and you end up paying expensive fees to someone like me to straighten out a completely avoidable situation.

    Personally if I had been Gates I would have been pretty ticked off too. However, I would have been smart enough to have treated the cop with courtesy, resolved the initial situation quickly, and then have a discussion with the States’ Attorney, the Police Chief, and the head of the police review board the next day. Of course I would also have had a word or two with local media outlets. Life goes so much smoother if you engage the brain first instead of the tongue.

  • I think it is absolutely ridiculous that a person can be arrested for “talking back” to a cop.

    In this age of video cameras we’ve seen instances where cops, not knowing they are being watched, at like fascist thugs. I saw one case where a cop taunted a man, saying, “I can say whatever I want and they’ll believe me instead of you.”

    It is because of the rash actions of police that some violent criminals get off on ‘technicalities’, while people who did nothing more than utter a remark some cop found annoying end up being harassed with court dates, fines, etc. Abuse of power is something that always needs to be taken seriously.

    That said, I couldn’t disagree more about a ‘handgun ban’. With due respect to the USCCB, I want to hear the moral reasoning as to why I, a responsible, law-abiding citizen, should not be allowed to purchase a handgun for home and self-defense. An approach that only looks at raw statistics misses the fact that it is precisely those people inclined to break laws already that are going to use guns for evil.

    I think it is possible that their reasoning is flawed.

  • Given that you have repeatedly argued that it’s appropriate for Catholics to essentially ignore the abortion legality issue in regards to politics because the issue is “dead” when only one party supports outlawing abortion…

    I never said that. I said that I believe it is deeply wrong to support the party in question, and that its tactics will set back the pro-life cause. That is my own judgment only.

  • “I think it is absolutely ridiculous that a person can be arrested for “talking back” to a cop.”

    Most states have fairly broad “disorderly conduct” statutes Joe. Here is a link to the Illinois statute:

    http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K26-1

    Now I can usually win these cases for clients as most jurors and judges tend to sympathize with the Defendant as long as only words were exchanged. However the client is still out my fee plus time off from work. I think that is a high price for venting spleen, but if people wish to do so I am always happy to represent them. After going through the legal system most agree with me that courtesy is normally a cheaper way to go.

  • In this age of video cameras we’ve seen instances where cops, not knowing they are being watched, at like fascist thugs.

    On the contrary, Joe, I think that the vast majority of those police cameras show that the police act with incredible restraint in the face of fairly regular hostile encounters. For every Rodney King incident there are hundreds of non-incidents. They don’t make the news, however.

  • My perspective on law enforcement tends to be favorable — most likely, because I am a white, middle class female whose only run-ins with the law have been a few speeding tickets, and who as a newspaper reporter for 2 years on a small-town police and court beat, had to treat them with courtesy and professionalism. I did not happen to encounter any blatant instances of police brutality or corruption on my beat, but if I had stuck with it longer, or covered a bigger city, I probably would have eventually.

    I agree with j. christian that for every instance in which a cop acts like a thug there are probably at least 50 other times when they don’t. Bad cops (like bad teachers, bad priests, etc.) always get more attention than good ones.

    As for gun control, I’ve never owned a gun, and only fired a gun once in my entire life (skeet shooting on a camping trip). But — I firmly believe that since people have a natural right to defend themselves, any adult should have the right to own a gun UNLESS a good reason exists to deny them that right (criminal record, mental instability, failing to be properly trained in the use of firearms, etc.) If someone uses a gun to commit a crime, punish them with an additional fine or prison sentence for the misuse of the gun, just as we punish motorists who drive drunk or reckelessly.

  • I have a few relatives who are cops. The thing to remember is when the police enter a home, they have no idea what to expect. It might be nothing or there might be one or more armed criminals in the shadows. How do they know? When you are dealing with a cop who is already on edge, the wise thing is to defuse the tension, not pour fuel on it.

    I can understand why it happens, but there are blacks who are too quick to assume that somebody of a different race who is being a jerk to them is doing so because they are black. I worked with a black woman once who was sure that the Greek sandwich shop owner in our building hated her because she was black. But he was rude to me, rude to just about everyone who came in the place. He was like the Seinfeld soup Nazi; he was nasty to everyone, and unlike the soup Nazi, it’s not like his food was so great that you were willing to tolerate abuse. The place eventually closed and let us hope he is making a living in some business that does not involve customer service. There are racists, and then there are just people with king-sized chips on their shoulders.

  • I think it is absolutely ridiculous that a person can be arrested for “talking back” to a cop.

    Well, obviously, as a person qua person, there’s no reason why talking back to a cop should result in being arrested, any more than it would be fair for me to be arrested for talking back to you.

    I think the key thing here, however, is that when an officer is attempting to do his job (investigating a potential crime) if people just talk back and yell at him and accuse him of being a racist and generally are disruptive, it prevents the cop from being able to do his job.

    When you’re the one being stopped by the police, and you know there’s nothing all that bad you were doing, it’s natural to be indignant. I’m sure the last thing that Prof. Gates wanted to deal with the day he got back form China was some police officer showing up on his doorstep wanting to know if he was supposed to be in the house. The thing to understand is, not only does the officer have no idea if you’re really innocent or not, but he very frequently deals with people who are not innocent and try to bluster or fight their way out of the situation.

    That’s why many states or cities have “contempt of cop” laws — so that people understand they need to cooperate or else face consequences. (Though often, the consequences are just hanging out in the cooler for a couple hours and then being released without charges.)

    Anyway, I know I must sound like a broken record on this, but I do strongly recommend Barker’s book, which you might be able to find at a decent library. It’s certainly not a “cops are always right” book but it both helps you understand what cops deal with and where they’re coming from — which often makes things more sympathetic, and in other cases at least helps one understand what the life of being a big city police officer tends to do to people. To understand all is not necessarily to forgive all, but it is useful nonetheless.

  • Police officers are trained to respond professionally to provocation. When an officer fails to do so, it is a serious problem.

    My guess is that the behavior in question was far more than merely “being rude.” (I make that assertion based upon the reputation of the officer involved.)

    In most of the arrests that I have seen “go wrong,” it is the failure to follow lawful orders that pushes officers up the “ladder of force.” It isn’t that the SUBJECT is merely rude but that an officer orders them to “show me your hands” or “stop where you are” and the SUBJECT continues to approach and refuses to comply. Officers then become all too aware of their vulnerability, particularly in enclosed spaces.

    There are a number of simulators that officers receive regular training on that provide reasonably close simulation of such incidents. It is disturbing to die in these simulations but virtually everyone does since correctly gauging the conditions is incredibly difficult. The inclination is either to be too aggressive or too reserved. Either one can get someone killed.

    As to the firearms issue… Whether or not handguns were illegal would not have changed THIS situation, as best I can tell. Officers will continue to assume the worst since doing otherwise will get you or your partner killed.

  • Interesting that no one here has law enforcement experience. Lots of first stones cast, though.

    I wonder how many people could do the job for one day, let alone a full career.

    Meanwhile, be sure to take such domestic tranquility as we have for granted.

  • I wonder if we are not overlooking one aspect: that of the tendency overpaid Harvard professors [whatever their color] to be rude and overbearing.

    I would be curious to know what would have been Prof. Gates’ reaction if, while he was in China, his house had been burglarized.

  • I am a family man and huge advocate of Law and Order- see my post “Take Back America Street by Street” from April 21 here at American Catholic.

    We need a really strong police presence, and we need really effective means of watchdogging police powers- to make sure abuses do not become systemic institutionally or along racial lines- for example. Targeting the bad neighborhoods to help break the cycles of crime and criminals, and fostering solid team values among police by bringing together mixed-race squads, with family wages to protect against corruption and add to the community prestige and role-modeling potential.

    With this must be very transparent policing departmental policies, and citizen board advisory and oversight committees- to make necessary reforms and weed out bad apples.

    How much of this is going on with the Cambridge police situation? If charges of racial abuse are being made, police should be trained to call for back-up quickly and to have minority officiers also prepped for responding to put more diverse perspectives at the scene asap.

    In an unfallen world, we wouldn’t need to do all of this, and after getting America under a better code of conduct, and breaking down many of the root causes of criminal behavior, we can begin then to cut back on the policing presence- but right now is the time to push forward not pull back to armed fortresses while the streets go more and more into the hands of the criminally-inclined.

    On the Gates particular situation- Obama was wrong to weigh in with only a partial set of facts- and if Gates was getting out-of-hand verbally, but not violently- that would have been the time to call for a racially-mixed back-up team to get that diversity check to ensure that there wasn’t something racial in the mix that was adding fuel to the fire rather like the firemen in Fahrenheit “451”? who start fires rather than put them out. I don’t have all the facts so I won’t go out on a limb and say one or the other parties was at primary fault.

  • Elaine,
    Though being a white female may help, it’s no guarantee (trust me) that you’ll never find yourself face-to-gun barrel with an officer (even when you’re not breaking any laws!) Prudence dictates not elevating the threatcon level.

    There’s been a lot of weighing in here on the appropriate way for police to deal with an unruly individual who has otherwise not broken the law. It was my impression that shouting and behaving in a threatening manner toward another person constitutes assault and is therefore grounds enough for arrest. I’d be interested to get the perspective of some of the legal eagles who write for or read this blog on that.

  • I am not a legal eagle, but I can tell you that there are provisions of the Penal Law of New York which define the crime of ‘Menacing’ and the crime of ‘Harrassment’. These are class b misdemeanors and more serious than ‘disorderly conduct’. I am not sure either would apply given the precise facts of the case. If Dr. Gates had brandished a truncheon as a weapon the former might apply and if he had followed the officer down the block shouting obscenities at him the latter might.

  • Tim: One of the officers on the scene at the Gates house was black. He backs Crowley’s account. And Crowley has taught courses on racial profiling. He has been praised by the other officers in his Department for being an excellent cop.

    That’s why the attempt to make this into an example of racist injustice has backfired. If Crowley had a record of harassing minorities in the past or was rumored to be a less than honest cop, I’d have a different take on it.

    Remember, Cambridge is not only wealthy but one of the most liberal of communities in a very blue state. I am finding attempts to equate this to Alabama in 1958 rather risible.

    Gabriel Austin: You make a good point. This is probably as much about class as it is about race. Haaavard professors of any color undoubtably get quite a bit of deference in Cambridge, which is probably why Gates thought showing the cop a Harvard ID (with no address on it) would be sufficient. When the cop was unimpressed, Gates played the race card.

  • What I find most irritating about this is Obama’s remarks. I recall that Nixon also put his foot into it when he publicly opined that Charles Manson was guilty – while the trial was still going on. The press, rightly, criticized him for that. I’ve not seen much press criticism of Obama – but then he is “The Won”.

Sotomayor, No Content Of Character Here

Thursday, June 4, AD 2009

Sotomayor Racism

Imagine a white male conservative making the same comments that Judge Sonia Sotomayor made:

A wise White man with his experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a Latina female,”

The mainstream media (old media) would have a field day recounting how racist Republicans are.  It would be nonstop media coverage not seen since Trent Lott’s infamous statements.

Now here are Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s comments.  Keep in mind that when she said these comments that she was dead serious:

A wise Latina woman with her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male,”

Continue reading...

15 Responses to Sotomayor, No Content Of Character Here

  • A wise woman will more often than not reach a better conclusion than most males.

  • Gabriel,

    A wise woman will more often than not reach a better conclusion than most males.

    and conversly a wise man will more often than not reach a better conclusion than most females.

    Now, to be clear, we’re talking about the proper understanding of “wise”. Here’s another thoughts:

    An “educated” man or woman will more often than not reach a worse conclusion than most anybody.

  • Gabriel,
    Indeed, but a “learned” person has a better chance of becoming a “wise” person than most.

  • Mike Petrik,

    Indeed, but a “learned” person has a better chance of becoming a “wise” person than most.

    not typically in this day and age, maybe before the “enlightenment”.

    am obliged to confess I should sooner live in a society governed by the first two thousand names in the Boston telephone directory than in a society governed by the two thousand faculty members of Harvard University.
    — William F. Buckley

  • Matt,
    I intended my post as a response to yours, and without getting into the relevance of the so-called enlightenment, my point was to distinguish the “learned” from the “educated.” I suspect you would agree with that point, properly understood.

  • Sorry Mike, I though you were equating learned with education. So if you agree that the 2000 professors of Harvard are neither wise, nor learned no matter how educated they are, then we’re on the same page.

  • At the risk of being accused of making sweeping generalizations, I agree completely — at least in principle.

  • Imagine a white conservative saying: “A wise Italian woman with her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male.”

    I doubt there would’ve been much protest.

    I’m not very familiar with La Raza. How many whites have they lynched?

  • –Imagine a white conservative saying: “A wise Italian woman with her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male.”

    May I then in the same spirit nominate my wise grandmother for the USSC. She’s an Indian fisherwoman but (per Asimov) as indeed all grandmothers, is in fact Jewish.

  • RR,

    If you ever read anything from La Raza you would be appalled at the literature out there.

    As far as I can recollect, I haven’t read any Italian-American literature calling for the annexation of the eastern United States to Italy and calling themselves the Master Race.

  • I have no love in my Hispanic heart for La Raza, MEChA, et al. I also am not naive about the meaning of identity politics, in particular Affirmative Action (see my recent post at Vox-Nova: http://vox-nova.com/2009/06/02/experiencing-affirmative-action/).

    Add to that, I do not know Sotomayor or what she meant by this statement. Having said that, none of us “know” her intentions or the meaning of her language here.

    The point where I dispute this post (and others like it) is that there is only one meaning to her statement. There is a connotation of racism, to be had, for sure.

    However, I think that there is also another meaning that is hardly controversial, albeit politically incorrect. Namely, that the our life experiences shape our ability to interpret the world, in this case, the law.

    This is why a Catholic perspective, to me, is a richer view to look at thing with when compared to narrower views–for this very reason I supported the nominations of Alito and Roberts, and was deeply criticized for it.

    So, while lumping in the implication that she is racist may still be a possible way to interpret what she said and her affiliations with the organization that smack of supremacy (although for complex, yet still misguided in my mind, reasons) are troubling, there is no reason to think that this interpretation has some kind of monopoly over the possible meaning of her words.

    Perhaps I am wrong, but the content and tone of this post suggests that this is the “real,” “only” way to see her comments. And that clearly seems to be untrue.

  • Sam,

    The context of the post is very limited, for that matter all posts are, since it can be difficult to understand the context of where the person is coming from as well as the words themselves.

    With that said, a lot of people in La Raza and MEChA as well, can be discerned as well meaning. Just as those that may have joined the Nazi party in the Weimer Republic of the 1930s.

    I.E., not all people are bad by association.

    With that said, considering the educational and intellectual background of Miss Sonia Sotomayor, it can be construed as a very poor judgement on her part for being affiliated with such organizations. As well as her work in college for calling for Puerto Rican independence.

    For all we know, she may well be a very patriotic American and is embarressed by her poor choice of words. Unfortunately she does not have the character to admit the errors of her way since she is determined to be a Supreme Court Justice.

    If she were to recant and be apologetic, I would certainly be one of the very first to accept it and maybe even accept her as a Supreme Court Justice, but her admitting her mistakes is not part of her character. Sadly. She is of this world and not Christs.

    I am beyond “ethnic” politics, at least I think so. If the nominee were of “Latino” ethnicity but of a practicing Catholic, I would be celebrating the fact that she is Catholic. Not that she is “Latino”.

    I have no doubt that she will be confirmed, regardless of her less than stellar career as a district judge, since it seems to guilty white liberals that ethnicity and empathy trump experience and character.

    My posting was basically for historical posterity. So when people look back and see the baffling and poor writing of Miss Sonia Sotomayor, they will see why she was placed on the bench.

    Simply because of the color of her skin and her gender. Not because she was qualified.

  • Tito, thanks for acknowledging the limits here. But even given the limitations you mention, I don’t understand the meaning of many of the words you are using (e.g. liberal, the problem with PR independence, belonging to the world vs. Christ) and the concepts that follow.

    The biggest problem, however, is that you seem to have missed a major consequence of my comment. Namely, that your interpretation of Sotomayor here, posted for posterity, could in fact be completely wrong. Which would mean she would have no reason to apologize int eh first place. Instead, she would only have to say what she meant in a way that a bit more clear.

    So, the needed apology would only be if you are right here, but—and this was my point—you may be quite wrong and neither one of us can possibly know that for sure. But, while you say you have serious limits, being wrong isn’t really one of them here.

    No, my point is not saying that guilt by association is true (of course it isn’t), it is saying that, given what she said, there are other possible interpretation that should keep our decisions on the matter (i.e. what she said) open ended for now.

    There is a decidedly partisan tone to your argument, as I read it, that seems to prevent you from granting that limitation. Without doing so, I fear you are simply asserting something as plausible for your cause as the other are plausible for the other side of the aisle. My point is this: both sides are bankrupt, we do much better thinking free from them, and, if we do, then, we cannot say the things you are saying here or the other side is saying there—you are both wrong, for now.

  • Forgive the grammar and misspellings, I think the basic ideas are still intelligible, though.

  • Sam,

    I respectfully disagree with your sentiments.

    I am not a registered Republican and have rightfully castigated people such as Rudy Guiliani and Sean Hannity for being less than truthful in their faith.

    I am a history buff and always take care with what I write knowing that history will prove me right in the end (at least I think so). In addition, you pointing out the fact that this is an opinion is like accusing the President of being partisan. Of course it is my opinion, that is why I wrote this piece.

    I do presume, based on the mountain of information that I have, especially since I feel that I am a patriotic American and disavow all calls for the dissolution of union when it comes to Puerto Rico. If Miss Sotomayor would apologize for her un-American statements in supporting anarchy and her racist remarks, then I would be supportive.

    But considering her lack of faith and her lack of character, I highly doubt this will occur. Though I would be happy to be corrected here.

    Grammar and misspellings are easily forgiven. Please forgive me as well for the same.

    For posterity’s sake, I opine that history will judge Miss Sotomayor harshly. May she return to her faith and find solace in the Lord with His mercy so she can deal with the shame and rightful scorn that will be placed upon her during her time (assuming she gets confirmed) as a Supreme Court Justice.