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Old 03-26-2005, 04:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
Loser
 
Seperation of Church and Conservatism

(I know! Not another Schiavo thread. But really, this thread will hopefully go to the larger discussion: )

Can conservatives seperate themselves from the extremism of the religious right, or will they continue to align themselves in order to maintain power, no matter how displeasing they find the results?

The Schiavo case, constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage, anti-choice in the abortion topic.

I've seen quite a few TFP conservatives come out strongly in opposition to the recent Republican push to usurp States rights (not withstanding a couple, or one, TFP conservative who spoke endlessly in favor of it). Is this a flash in the pan oppositional stance to the strong influence exhibited by the religious right upon the conservative party or is there going to be action taken to pull the party out of the grasp of religion?
Quote:
Andrew Sullivan: Terri is the dying martyr the Rebublican right can use
It was impossible to look without grief at the images of Terri Schiavo starving slowly to death in a Florida hospice. It has, alas, become impossible in America to look at such a tragic set of circumstances without hysteria.

Those of us who have long worried that unleashing religious fundamentalism into the bloodstream of American politics would lead to disaster can feel only that our fears have now come true.

Fifteen years ago Schiavo suffered a heart stoppage that was caused by her bulimia. Her brain was temporarily starved of oxygen and scans showed that her cerebral cortex had stopped functioning.

A scan shows that her brain has since shrunk massively. Her electroencephalogram reading was and is flat — she has no brain waves. She is not brain dead, but she has no ability to think, feel or communicate.

She can breathe on her own and random eye movements can give the impression of some kind of awareness. She has been kept alive by a feeding tube.

In the first years that she was in this horrifying state, her husband Michael did all he could to find treatment, going from hospital to hospital trying new therapies. Terri was sent to California to have experimental platinum electrodes implanted to get her brain going again. Michael slept next to her for five weeks. At the time he and Terri’s parents were united in doing all they could for what was left of his wife.

Eventually the husband acquiesced to near-universal medical opinion and came to terms with the fact that his wife would never revive. He said that when she was cognisant she had once told him that she did not want to be kept alive artificially for an indefinite period of time.

You can see why. The Miami Herald reported: “She suffered from bile stones and kidney stones, according to court papers, and had to have her gallbladder removed. She has ‘drop foot’, where her foot twists downward, and the ensuing pressure resulted in the amputation of her left little toe. She frequently developed urinary tract infections, diarrhoea and vaginitis. Several cysts were removed from her neck. Several times her feeding tube got infected.”

The sight of a human being in a state of disintegration became too much for Michael Schiavo to bear. He decided to let her die with dignity.

Her parents, for understandable reasons, differed and fought him in the Florida courts for many painful years. The parents, who had at first encouraged Michael to date other women, then used his second relationship (he subsequently dated another woman and had two children with her) as a weapon against him.

However, court after court acknowledged the overwhelming medical data and the fact that Terri’s legal guardian was her husband. Court case after court case moved Terri inexorably towards death.

Then members of the political religious right heard of what was going on, took up the case and cast it as an example of what the Pope has called the “culture of death”. They used Nazi analogies. They demonised Michael Schiavo. They saw an opportunity to highlight their principled defence of human life.

Their clout was such that they got the Florida legislature to pass a bill to protect Terri, a law subsequently overruled by the courts in Florida. Last weekend they got Congress in an emergency Sunday session to pass a law to delay the process of death, pending new federal court challenges. President George W Bush rushed back to Washington to sign the bill in the middle of the night. You want proof that the religious right runs the Republican party? Federal courts then examined the long course of the case and came to the conclusion that Florida’s courts had acted within the law. There was no legal case to intervene. The parents appealed to the US Supreme Court, which again refused to hear the case.

I don’t know what I would do in such a case. The nearest I have come was watching one of my best friends die of Aids while his family and friends refused to resuscitate him. It was what he wanted. I stood by, helpless. But I recognised that this kind of decision can be made only by the person herself or by the family or spouse or legally appointed guardian.

The idea that government should have the final say, that the government could be swayed by political lobbies, strikes me as grossly inappropriate. If limited government means anything it means leaving decisions like this as close to the individual as possible.

If the American principle of federalism means anything it means that the local state’s courts are the only relevant instruments to deal with such a tragedy. But that is not what American Republicanism now thinks. It has a religious drive that puts theological certitude before prudential or legal reasoning and a growing contempt for an independent judiciary.

That is how Bill Bennett, a leading conservative activist, could write last Thursday in the conservative National Review, that Jeb Bush, the Florida governor, should simply overrule the courts, break the law and send armed guards to insert the feeding tube by force. This attack on the basis of constitutional liberty in the name of religion is usually called theocracy. Polling shows that large majorities do not think the federal government should get involved.

Bush himself, who said last week that “it is wise to always err on the side of life”, did not seem so concerned when he signed countless death warrants as governor of Texas, with the most cursory of legal reviews. He also signed a Texas law that gave next of kin discretion to remove life support from a terminally ill patient in the absence of a living will.

Last week an eight-year-old boy died in Texas after his tube was removed because his parents could not afford treatment, but the religious right seemed uninterested. Culture of life? The Republicans are engaged in a fascinating debate about what they believe. The survival of what is left of Terri Schiavo is for some people a genuine matter of moral principle. That position should be respected. But it should also be subject to the rule of law.

For others, the Schiavo case is a first battle to win over the religious right primary voters who will determine the next Republican nominee. The Republican leadership is gambling that the intensity of their religious base will outweigh the more general public’s disdain for this exercise in government over-reach. The broader public, they calculate, will forget. The zealots will always remember.

If Schiavo dies they will have a martyr as well. They will use her death as a symbol in the campaigns to come.
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Old 03-26-2005, 05:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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as usual, i don't agree with how you present the issue manx.

definition of marriage: while marriage licenses are issued by the states... the full faith and credit clause in the constitution provides substantial grounds for federal input.

and i'm not sure why you posed this question in the first place. are you sure they want to?

i think you use the word "extremism" to marginalize religious men and women.
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Last edited by irateplatypus; 03-26-2005 at 05:24 PM..
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Old 03-26-2005, 06:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irateplatypus
and i'm not sure why you posed this question in the first place. are you sure they want to?
That's the whole question - so when you say you are not sure why I posed the question, are you saying that they do not? Are you speaking for all conservatives now?

I know you to be someone who believes it is a good thing to have a lot of religion in politics. I am one who believes no religion should be in politics. There are certainly conservatives who believe similarly to you, in this respect, and there are those who believe similarly to me. And then there are the many who fall somewhere in between.

You, personally, may not find the religious control of the conservative party to be in anyway troublesome, but I have seen quite a conservative backlash to it recently, due to the Schiavo case. I have also noted quite a few conservatives who have consistently disagreed with the religious position on abortion (atleast as it is applied to politics and law) and gay marriage, etc.

So that is my question - will the demonstrated control of the conservative party by religion push the conservatives who have not typically supported the religious aspects of the conservative party platform into regaining control of the party?

Goldwater would be rolling in his grave.
Quote:
i think you use the word "extremism" to marginalize religious men and women.
The religious right is an extreme element of conservativism. I will always attempt to marginalize religion as long as religion attempts to control politics.

Last edited by Manx; 03-26-2005 at 06:24 PM..
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Old 03-26-2005, 06:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manx
Can conservatives seperate themselves from the extremism of the religious right, or will they continue to align themselves in order to maintain power, no matter how displeasing they find the results?
I'm sure they can. Just like liberals can seperate themselves from some of the policies of the extremist left. Probably many non-religious conservatives prefer the Republicans in spite of the religious right because they consider it the lesser of two evils when compared with the radical left.
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Old 03-26-2005, 07:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The extremists of the left don't have anywhere near the influence that the christian taliban (Please realize that I mean this for a small sect of christians who effectively control that party only. i.e Falwell, Robertson, Dobson) has over the Republican party.
At least not anymore. Not since the 80's. Loss of absolute legislative power forced them to finally get back to democrats at large. Republicans are now completing the cycle.
Abortion stonewalling has been softened. Democrats are nowhere NEAR environmentalists (to my personal chagrin). If they were the Green Party wouldn't be the same size of the Libertarians. The anti-gun is a marginal influence.
Really, what interest group of the democrats can anyone say has the kind of influence of the Christian Coalition et al?
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Old 03-26-2005, 07:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbelt
The extremists of the left don't have anywhere near the influence that the christian taliban
You are absolutely correct, SB. Just because we hold the same views as the gay mafia, the Rainbow Coalition, and the Nags, does not mean in anyway that we are beholden to them

Sincerly,
Barney Frank, Shelia Jackson Lee, Ted Kennedy, Hillary Rodham-Rodham, and Chucky Schumer.

Quote:
Is this a flash in the pan oppositional stance to the strong influence exhibited by the religious right upon the conservative party or is there going to be action taken to pull the party out of the grasp of religion?
I think it may be just a bone thrown to the Christian Right, and a hollow one at that. Sure, they held up their spring vacations for a few days, but in the end, where were the FLA state troopers rushing in to save her? Or the federal marshalls?

Jeb is up again in 06 I think, and his lack of action here will prove fatal to his reelction campaign. The conservatives will simply stay home.
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Old 03-26-2005, 07:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
This vexes me. I am terribly vexed.
 
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Despite what you have heard, the "gay mafia" holds little sway among the Democrats.
You remember a little bill called the "Defense of Marriage Act?" Remember which President proposed and pushed that puppie through?

Clinton was the biggest fake ever to liberal groups. His charisma garnered him illogical support among the gays and environmentalists even though he continued business as usual to hold down gays with "don't ask, don't tell", DOMA, and then to the enviros with extremely rapid industrial incursion into federal wildlands and ignoring of most other issues.
His last minute federal monument designations were all for show as he knew Bush was going to reverse them all as soon as he got in office. He only did it because he knew it would be bad press for Bush.

Quote:
Jeb is up again in 06 I think, and his lack of action here will prove fatal to his reelction campaign. The conservatives will simply stay home.
Jeb is just screwed no matter what he does. His base stays home if he doesn't act and the 60+% polled who are against him acting further in the Schiavo case will vote him out if he does.
Jebs done unless another issue comes along that he can use to energize them. Maybe someone can smuggle Elian back in....
Meh, scratch that. He's in his awkward teen years by now. Nowhere near as telegenetic.
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Old 03-26-2005, 08:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flstf
Probably many non-religious conservatives prefer the Republicans in spite of the religious right because they consider it the lesser of two evils when compared with the radical left.
I'm sure they do - but as with everything, there are degrees of acceptability. At what point does the radical left no longer appear as the greater of two evils? Or, at what point does the consolidation of power into the hands of religion force a conservative to libertarianism? How much religion in politics can a conservative take?
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Old 03-26-2005, 08:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manx
That's the whole question - so when you say you are not sure why I posed the question, are you saying that they do not? Are you speaking for all conservatives now?
of course not, but i'm not the one who started a thread with an unqualified premise.

Quote:

I know you to be someone who believes it is a good thing to have a lot of religion in politics.
wrong.

Quote:
I am one who believes no religion should be in politics. There are certainly conservatives who believe similarly to you, in this respect, and there are those who believe similarly to me. And then there are the many who fall somewhere in between.
your presumptions are irritating.

Quote:
You, personally, may not find the religious control of the conservative party to be in anyway troublesome, but I have seen quite a conservative backlash to it recently, due to the Schiavo case. I have also noted quite a few conservatives who have consistently disagreed with the religious position on abortion (atleast as it is applied to politics and law) and gay marriage, etc.
religious people cast a single vote each, just like you. just because a larger percentage of religious people vote one way or the other doesn't necessitate religious control.

Quote:
The religious right is an extreme element of conservativism. I will always attempt to marginalize religion as long as religion attempts to control politics.
but what's extreme about it? i defy you to describe a major plank in the conservative platform that is unequivocably "extreme". my guess is that you cannot. it's very conventient to think that people who disagree with you are extreme.

the simple fact is that religion and politics intersect at the crossroads of morality. each seeks to define morality on specific terms (be that the law of the ten commandments or the law passed in congress). when you say that religion controls politics, you're really only objecting to people using their votes to forward their moral ideals that differ from your own. religion paranoia is a crutch for these types of arguments. the decision to not pull the plug on a comatose person or to not shred the flesh of a viable fetus in a mother's womb and suck out the limbs with a vacuum can be made without religion. when you describe opposing arguments entirely with a frame of religious motivation in a secular republic such as ours... you disqualify all positions other than your own on illegitimate grounds.
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If you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance for survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.

~ Winston Churchill

Last edited by irateplatypus; 03-26-2005 at 08:53 PM..
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Old 03-26-2005, 09:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irateplatypus
of course not, but i'm not the one who started a thread with an unqualified premise.
Nonsense.

It is not unqualified to presume that there are near-infinite variations in political motivation - from full support of stringent fiscal and social conservative ideals to no support of many conservative ideals. Everyone has their own unique methods of judging to what degree they support various parties based on the importance and number of issues they agree with as represented in those parties. This thread presents the question:

As there are many conservatives who are not predisposed to the religious control of the conservative party, how much religious control of the conservative party are they willing to accept before they decide to take back control of their party?

This thread is founded on a very qualified premise and then proceeds to a point of discussion on that premise. Whether you agree with how I have presented it or not.
Quote:
wrong.
Impossible. I can't be wrong because it is my opinion. And though you claim I am wrong here, you support my opinion with the last paragraph of your post, no less.
Quote:
your presumptions are irritating.
Go somewhere else.
Quote:
religious people cast a single vote each, just like you. just because a larger percentage of religious people vote one way or the other doesn't necessitate religious control.
I never claimed anything necessitated religious control. But religious control is what we have.
Quote:
but what's extreme about it? i defy you to describe a major plank in the conservative platform that is unequivocably "extreme". my guess is that you cannot.
I can list dozens of aspects of conservative philosophy that are extreme. Why? Because the adjective extreme is subjective by nature.
Quote:
religion paranoia
So you're labeling it religion paranoia, but you take issue when I label something extreme? Which is it: we're allowed to use subjective terminology or we are not? You can't have it both ways.
Quote:
the simple fact is that religion and politics intersect at the crossroads of morality. each seeks to define morality on specific terms (be that the law of the ten commandments or the law passed in congress). when you say that religion controls politics, you're really only objecting to people using their votes to forward their moral ideals that differ from your own. religion paranoia is a crutch for these types of arguments. the decision to not pull the plug on a comatose person or to not shred the flesh of a viable fetus in a mother's womb and suck out the limbs with a vacuum can be made without religion.
That means absolutely nothing in the context of this thread. You're defending the term religion - but I'm not attacking religion. Obviously the religious right has a set of morals that I disagree with. And many conservatives disagree with those morals as well - which is what this thread is about, whether you want to turn it into a defense of religion or not.
Quote:
when you describe opposing arguments entirely with a frame of religious motivation in a secular republic such as ours... you disqualify all positions other than your own on illegitimate grounds.
The only position I disqualify is the position that religion has no bearing on political motivation. That is not what you have choosen to argue. I am not disqualifying religion and I am not disqualifying your position - except in so far as your position is not on topic.
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Old 03-26-2005, 09:29 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manx
Can conservatives seperate themselves from the extremism of the religious right, or will they continue to align themselves in order to maintain power, no matter how displeasing they find the results?
Yes (to the first part)

I am very conservative and have very little religious predispositions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manx
At what point does the radical left no longer appear as the greater of two evils?
Being a "born-again Democrat", here is why I left the Democrat party:

I started paying attention to my paycheck. When I was a Democrat, it was when my income was so low that "taxes" weren't something I paid attention to.

As I made more money, I started paying attention.

When I was paying thousands of dollars per month in taxes, I wanted to know where my money was going (after all, I earned it, not someone else.....and don't give me any of this "opportunity" bullshit.....I started low and worked my way up, with no formal education whatsoever, no hand-outs and no AA crap either).

Until liberals stop feeling it necessary to take my money and giving it to someone else (that doesn't deserve it), I have no use for them.
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Old 03-26-2005, 09:42 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KMA-628
Until liberals stop feeling it necessary to take my money and giving it to someone else (that doesn't deserve it), I have no use for them.
Then these questions arise:

How important is money in comparison to being controlled by religion? (I.E. the second part of the first question you posted, now geared towards you specifically.)

What about the libertarian party? If your viewpoint on the libertarian party is that supporting them would be a waste, even as you may support their ideals, does more religious control of the conservative party alleviate your concern over the weakness of the libertarian party? And if you don't view support of the libertarian party as a waste of your power, how do you reconcile supporting an otherwise relatively similar party controlled by religion?
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Old 03-26-2005, 09:45 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manx
Impossible. I can't be wrong because it is my opinion.
that says so much more than you know.

religious people will undoubtedly have their moral convictions shaped by their faith. does this disqualify them, in your eyes, from having legitimate input into the political realm? if not, then why object? if so, then what sources of moral understanding would you accept?
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If you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance for survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.

~ Winston Churchill
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Old 03-26-2005, 09:50 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irateplatypus
that says so much more than you know.
When taken out of context, most certainly.
Quote:
religious people will undoubtedly have their moral convictions shaped by their faith. does this disqualify them, in your eyes, from having legitimate input into the political realm? if not, then why object? if so, then what sources of moral understanding would you accept?
You should think about getting off your "religious people are people too" kick. You're entirely and completely failing to grasp this thread and instead you are arguing something that is totally meaningless here.
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Old 03-26-2005, 10:13 PM   #15 (permalink)
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you told me that your opinion of what i believe cannot be wrong because it's your opinion... that really does sum up quite a bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manx
You should think about getting off your "religious people are people too" kick. You're entirely and completely failing to grasp this thread and instead you are arguing something that is totally meaningless here.
i disagree. your thread is, from the start, concerned with the influence people of religious backgrounds exert on the conservative politicians in this country. it seems that you consider morality (which can be a purely secular endeavor) to be null when born out of a religious context, putting such moral codes into a separate category. if moral understanding from religion is unacceptable in the public forum, i'd love to know what you consider to be acceptable.

but i'll bite: i don't think that a major split will occur, but mainly for the reasons that i've been trying to drive at (the differing perceptions of how moral positions are formed in the political arena). moral decisions made by the bulk of religious people have too much relevance with the conservative agenda at large. the nature of truth, the role of government, and the responsibilities of the individual enjoy a strong link between the current iteration of christianity and conservative politics. while it may be a marriage of convenience... it's much more convenient than any current alternative.
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If you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance for survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.

~ Winston Churchill
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Old 03-26-2005, 10:24 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manx
Can conservatives seperate themselves from the extremism of the religious right, or will they continue to align themselves in order to maintain power, no matter how displeasing they find the results?
O.K., I will attempt an answer to the second part of the first question (my BAC is way too high to handle this, but I will try).

In the end, most of us will vote for the person who is close enough to our ideals and has an actual chance of winning.

This feeling is reaffirmed for me after reading all of the posts from people on the left who said they would vote for John Kerry, not because they liked him, but because he had the better chance of beating GWB than any other candidate they "liked".

The only thing keeping me from going "hardcore" Libertarian is that some of the wackos of that party kinda ruin it for me. Also, Libertarians don't have a very good track record of putting forth "viable" candidates.

Personaly, I can deal with a lot of this religious bullshit and shrug it off, as it has had zero effect on me. I don't agree with that part of my party, but I accept it (for the same reasons that I accept my parents, who are the epitome of the things you hate in this matter).

Likewise, there are many on "your side" that can be considered to be the "wacko contingent". They didn't vote/support the person who most closely matched their beliefs, they supported the most viable person....such as the game is played. Who is to say how their idealogies would play out if given the chance?

In the end, as an individual, I will never be able to find a political party that matches my beliefs 100% of the time; I am looking for the party with the greatest percentages. For right now, that is the Republican Party.

While I could go on and on about the things that irk me about my party, the list would be even longer if I were describing the Democratic Party; hence my allegiance.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Manx
How important is money in comparison to being controlled by religion? (I.E. the second part of the first question you posted, now geared towards you specifically.)
Sorta answered above....but.....money is more important, to me.

I mean this in regards to direct effect. I am directly affected by an increase in taxes, social programs, etc. Conversely, I cannot think of one area of my life where your concerns affect me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manx
What about the libertarian party?
I would probably agree with many of the Libertarians core "beliefs", but their messengers have a tendency to be to far one way or the other for me to support.

Right now, most Libertarian candidatess are just not viable.

I would rather throw my support behind a candidate I sorta support, than to throw my support behind a "better" candidate who has no chance of winning (and thereby remove a vote from a candidate that is an actually "viable" candidate)
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Old 03-26-2005, 10:31 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Manx, Bush still has a 45 percent approval rating. And.....we may not want to
reside here much longer, because, in my mind, this explains why this thread and
most of mine are excercises in futility and why candidates that we support have a difficult time attracting votes, even after Bush's performances in last fall's debates. You do not even speak the same language as 80 percent of these folks. Sadly, they probably attract 50 percent of voters of other affiliation, too.
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<a href="http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2005/03/22/MNGDGBSVVS1.DTL">http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2005/03/22/MNGDGBSVVS1.DTL</a>
A divide is evident among Democrats and Republicans, though it is much stronger among those people who identify themselves as evangelicals. Recent polls have also shown divides on matters such as evolution. An NBC News poll conducted in February asked adults what is the more likely explanation for the origin of human life. Less than 1 in 5 Republicans chose "evolution,'' as compared with 43 percent of Democrats.
If the numbers above are correct, there aren't enough potential Americans with sympathies similar enough to mine, to make it worthwhile to align with them in an increased attempt to change the political balance. I don't want to
live among a vast majority of countrymen with belief systems so alien from mine. I see what Republicans "choose". Nothing that I could ever settle for.
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Old 03-26-2005, 10:35 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irateplatypus
you told me that your opinion of what i believe cannot be wrong because it's your opinion... that really does sum up quite a bit.
Subjectivity must not be your strong point.
Quote:
your thread is, from the start, concerned with the influence people of religious backgrounds exert on the conservative politicians in this country. it seems that you consider morality (which can be a purely secular endeavor) to be null when born out of a religious context, putting such moral codes into a separate category.
I honestly don't know how you got from the first part to the second part, or why you have an issue with the third. Unless you really just want it to be the case.

Close on the first part, this thread is about the influence conservative people focused on religion exert over conservative people not focused on religion. No I do not consider morality to be null when born out of a religious context - and although you've been arguing that all through out this thread, in reality, you just made it up. And yes, I put religious-based moral codes into a category I label "religious-based moral codes", which is distinct from the "fiscal-based moral codes" category.
Quote:
if moral understanding from religion is unacceptable in the public forum, i'd love to know what you consider to be acceptable.
More pulled out of thin air unrelated to topic nonsense.
Quote:
but i'll bite: i don't think that a major split will occur, but mainly for the reasons that i've been trying to drive at (the differing perceptions of how moral positions are formed in the political arena). moral decisions made by the bulk of religious people have too much relevance with the conservative agenda at large. the nature of truth, the role of government, and the responsibilities of the individual enjoy a strong link between the current iteration of christianity and conservative politics. while it may be a marriage of convenience... it's much more convenient than any current alternative.
It's good to see you are finally on topic (regardless of whether you think you've been effectively doing so all along). I understand you personally feel that it is much more convenient. I don't expect to learn much more from you in this thread, as difficult as it has been to learn the little I have - because you are a conservative who aligns yourself with many of the religious morals as well as many of the traditional fiscal morals. For you, it is a marriage made in heaven (that's pun, get it?). For many conservatives, it is not. Hence, the thread.
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Old 03-26-2005, 10:42 PM   #19 (permalink)
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KMA - Thanks for your response, appreciated.
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Old 03-27-2005, 08:24 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manx
I'm sure they do - but as with everything, there are degrees of acceptability. At what point does the radical left no longer appear as the greater of two evils? Or, at what point does the consolidation of power into the hands of religion force a conservative to libertarianism? How much religion in politics can a conservative take?
I'm not sure how far the religious right has to go before reasonable conservatives abandon the Republican Party. Most of us grew up around religious people and have first hand experience that many are very good and caring people. When the president says something like "God bless the American people" even though we are not believers the words don't bother us much.

I would imagine if something like censorship and laws that interfere with our privacy get out of hand then maybe some folks will not vote for them. However many people fear the same kind of thing from the politically correct left. As I've said in other threads, most people who pay close attention to the issues are already alligned with one of the major parties. The elections are won by the folks who vote for the most likeable candidate. In recent history Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter are good examples of this.
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Old 03-27-2005, 10:39 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Might be worthwhile to label the two groups: "social conservatives" versus "process conservatives".

Most process conservatives, who are economically conservative but socially various, probably had to hold their nose to vote for Bush.

The social conservatives, on the other hand, believe that Bush owes them the election, since the anti-gay marriage initiatives brought them out to vote, especially in Ohio where the initiative there won by a large margin.

The social conservatives seem to want six things, and expect Bush to fight for them: (1) overturning of Roe v. Wade; (2) banning same-sex marriage; (3) stacking the Supreme Court with socially conservative judges, starting with replacing Rehnquist with Scalia as Chief Justice; (4) prohibiting all scientific experimentation on human embryos (cloning and stem cell research); (5) attacking evolution and bringing creationism back into public science classrooms; and (6) allowing religious symbolism in government (Christmas, nativity, ten commandments, etc.).

And I would argue that the social conservatives are indeed extremists, because (1) they use cataclysmic rhetoric to describe the threat to the U.S. that they believe is posed by the moral decay of "liberalism" (e.g. allusions to biblical Armageddon, statements that God has given us a 4-year reprieve in the re-election of Bush); and (2) they are fundamentally anti-American in allowing or indeed promoting religion as something that does and should trump the Constitution.

But as far as the conservative movement as a whole is concerned, the crucial question is: to what extent do these goals of the social conservatives conflict with the goals of the process conservatives?

The process conservatives will start objecting only when/if these goals start to interfere with conservative economic policy, federalism, and maintaining a small and efficient federal government. As long as these basic process goals are not threatened, then the process conservatives, as a group, are not likely to expend much effort in countering them.

The major gripe the process conservatives have with Bush and Cheney is their runaway spending, and the fact that this election has shown pretty clearly that government can borrow and spend hundreds of million dollars and even conservative voters won't hold it accountable in the next election.

I think the continuing deficit and the debt are more likely to scare off the process conservatives than the religious extremists.

Bottom line is that the above goals of the social conservatives are probably seen by most conservatives as fairly innocuous.
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Old 03-27-2005, 11:32 AM   #22 (permalink)
 
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i dont think that the christian right has managed an ideological coup d'etat, taking over an otherwise benign conservative politics---the right political machine has developed through a kind of symbiotic relation to the christian right. they need each other.

among the effects of this lovely symbiosis:

the tendency to make absolute arguments, usually couched in the language of morality
the rigid inside/outside correct/incorrect definitions of position
the tendency to frame political arguments in nonfalsfiable terms
the sustained attempt to treat nationalism (and conservative politics which arrogates to itself a monopoly on nationalism) as a religious signifier--in short most of the arguments and mode of argument that come wrapped in special floral bouquets the aroma of which are redolent of fascism arise from this intersection of interests.
(it is easter, i understand, and so one thinks of flowers)

i do not think that it makes sense to imagine that the contemporary conservative machine minus the christian right would revert to previous forms of conservative politics either--to say this (directly or indirectly) is to underestimate what is new in this machinery--and there is much that is new. missing this is yet another way of underestimating the enemy.

most of the more moderate and/or traditional-style conservatives i have run into seem mystified by the rise and scope of the new right apparatus--i suspect these folk find themselves in a curious position. the dlc-style democratic party certainly made a calculation about this population at some point, and geared the party to co-opting them by transforming itself into a moderate republican party (see superbelt's post above)---this was obviously a disastrous choice. but the right apparatus does not care about such details--they continue to portray the democrats as "The Left"--which is empirically insane--but which has a certain persuasuve power for the good footsoldiers of the new right. and so this claim--central to the position war that the right has been winning for some time now--itself can be seens as a demonstration of the patterns i noted above.



irate's posts above seem to me misguided in that he seems to take umbrage at the focus on the christian right at all and reacts to it by claiming that the problem lay with this fantasy of his called antireligious paranoia.

which only makes sense if you accept, at some level, the claim that the american protestant evangelical communities, the organizational expressions of which include the christian coalition and a number of other parallel operations, in itself constitutes the totality of religious people in america--and that the political interests of these particular organizations represent the political claims of not just extremely conservative protestant evangelicals, but of all religious people--a claim which seems the absolute height of arrogance. from there irate moves to a defense of the political prerogatives of individual religious people--which is touching and all but wholly irrelevant--unless the idea is to attempt an erasing of the reality of the organizational scope and impact of the far right protestant evangelicals.

fact is that irate's mode of argument is a direct mirror of the types of arguments that float about in the political landscape he is apparently part of. for him, here as elsewhere, there is a single truth, there are "moral" arguments to be derived from this single truth......this truth is rooted in religious belief, which is persuasive for other believers and irrational for others.....because there is a single truth (something not open for argument, something asserted a priori) it follows that there is a single expression of that truth, a single religion, a single "moral" position in politics and elsewhere....
irate himself occupies that position, speaks from it, defends it, etc.

it is flattering that he descends from the mount to speak unto us, the fallen.

perhaps we should be flattered and not find the proclamations patronizing and annoying.
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Old 03-27-2005, 11:57 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flstf
I'm not sure how far the religious right has to go before reasonable conservatives abandon the Republican Party. Most of us grew up around religious people and have first hand experience that many are very good and caring people. When the president says something like "God bless the American people" even though we are not believers the words don't bother us much.
The poll results in my last post are that when asked the more likely explanation for the origin of human life. Less than 1 in 5 Republicans chose "evolution,'' as compared with 43 percent of Democrats.

Do you suspect the validity of these poll results?
More than eighty percent of Republicans polled rejected evolution as the most
likely explanation for the origin of human life.

Is this not an indication that there are a very small number of Republicans
who are secular conservatives ? It seems that the few Republicans who can
seperate science from religion could easily be replaced by an equal number of the huge number of Democrats (more than 20 miilion) who reject evolution as
the scientific explanation for the origin of man.

Do you know a better indicator of religious indoctrination than one that runs deep enough to push acceptance of the theory of evolution from an individual's set of core beliefs?
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Old 03-27-2005, 12:27 PM   #24 (permalink)
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the dual model of conservatism that raveneye described (that there is both a social and traditional dimension to conservative thought) is useful.

rb,

how very silly of you to portray my responses as assuming to encompass all religious peoples. the context of the thread is concerned with conservative political alignments in the united states at this very moment in time. i shouldn't have to explicitly say that i'm not describing the monolithic right-wing hindi factions or speaking for lesbian-nazi scientologist's whose favorite color is purple. of course i'm speaking only about a segment of religious people, the same segment the thread is concerned with.

i think that you did illustrate the basic divide between the sides of this issue and most others... differing views on the nature of truth. i do believe that there is an absolute truth in EVERY situation. sometimes i know what that is, sometimes i don't. sometimes i'm not wise enough to see anything but grey, but i believe the truth exists nonetheless. my worldview is in direct opposition to the idea that two things can be simultaneously in opposition and be equally true. such thinking is diseased.
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Old 03-27-2005, 12:32 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irateplatypus
the dual model of conservatism that raveneye described (that there is both a social and traditional dimension to conservative thought) is useful.
I'm glad you think so. It's unfortunate that you didn't notice precisely that as described in the opening post.
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Old 03-27-2005, 12:43 PM   #26 (permalink)
 
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i just read your posts, irate, took your way of framing the questions you addressed and turned it back on you. had this kind of framing not been present in your posts, i would never have imputed it to you.

Quote:
my worldview is in direct opposition to the idea that two things can be simultaneously in opposition and be equally true. such thinking is diseased.
that's funny---but i suppose it is coherent since you do not define what kind of truth you are talking about. you obviously can have two claims about the same issue, or two claims to the same object, both of which are formally correct (they do not violate any rules in their construction) and therefore true. it happens all the time. how is that diseased?

i suspect you mean something loftier in your throwing about of the word truth--something maybe neoplatonist, maybe mystical--something religious---but in a way that is antithetical to philosophy---unless you accept the definition of philosophy you find in barnes and noble bookstores, where there is no distinction between nietzsche, jonathan livingstone seagull, how to make friends and influence people and hal lindsey's latest about the coming apocalypse.

on a more serious note, however
there is something kind of unnerving in your langauge above, irate: you seem to adhere to a notion of truth that is linked to illumination---that is linked to your particular relation to your particular beliefs--on that basis, you characterize those who do not share your particular predispositions and your particular modes of deriving consequences from them as "diseased"---which is not a rhetorical turn i think you want to make, sir, else you end up deriving consequences from that too----following your particular predispositions and your particular modes of derivation-----that would lead you to support the "quarantine" of these "diseased elements"----maybe some Healthy Labor would help the Diseased, you know the kind of Healthy Labor that would fit nicely into the recreational schedule of nice camps in lovely rural settings--after all, the Health of the Body of the Nation is at stake--disease is not good for a Healthy Nation (full of people who believe exactly as you do). and, as we all know, arbeit macht frei.

do you really want to go here?
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Last edited by roachboy; 03-27-2005 at 12:46 PM..
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Old 03-27-2005, 03:14 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by host
The poll results in my last post are that when asked the more likely explanation for the origin of human life. Less than 1 in 5 Republicans chose "evolution,'' as compared with 43 percent of Democrats.

Do you suspect the validity of these poll results?
More than eighty percent of Republicans polled rejected evolution as the most
likely explanation for the origin of human life.

Is this not an indication that there are a very small number of Republicans
who are secular conservatives ? It seems that the few Republicans who can
seperate science from religion could easily be replaced by an equal number of the huge number of Democrats (more than 20 miilion) who reject evolution as
the scientific explanation for the origin of man.

Do you know a better indicator of religious indoctrination than one that runs deep enough to push acceptance of the theory of evolution from an individual's set of core beliefs?
I guess I do suspect the validity of the poll results since most of the Christians I know believe in some sort of evolution, they just think that their god started the ball rolling or something like that. Even if they rejected evolution it wouldn't necessarily mean that they couldn't be decent voters or polititians.

I am much more concerned that many religious people are trying to have their creation agenda taught in our public schools as scientific theory (intelligent design). If they keep this kind of thing up then I think many people will not vote for them.

Most of us are comfortable with having leaders who are religious (Jimmy Carter, GW Bush, etc..), it's when they start pushing their beliefs too much into law that will eventually turn people away from them.
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