Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Liberty Constitution Ron Paul

Last meeting we had, there was a "spend 5 minutes defending your candidate" debate.

Only a couple of people really engaged, and both of them were Ron Paul supporters.  I'm pretty sure these were the people who suggested the exercise.  And they came prepared.

not all Ron Paul supporters are like this.  But too many of 
them sound a little too much like this.  And I've actually been
told I sound a little bit like this.  Minus the "Ron Paul" bits.
Ron Paul.  I voted for Ron Paul in 1988.  I voted for Harry Browne in 2000.   Between 1988 and 2000, I voted mostly for Libertarian candidates.

In 2000, we almost got President Al Gore.  President.  Al.  Gore.   Scared the crap out of me.   So next time around I decided it wasn't going to be my vote that gave us President John Kerry.   I voted for George W. Bush,  who I still count as a good and decent man, despite my libertarian undercurrent.   As for "good president" -- he did a lot of things right, and got a lot of things wrong.  But everything is relative.

And the Democrats proved that next time around by tossing up Barack Obama.  A better looking, more charming, better spoken version of Al Gore, but with a shield of ambiguity and misdirection lined in a protective cloak of blackness in case anyone started asking questions that poked at that ambiguity.

And it worked.   That still baffles me.

But back to Ron Paul.

It's not that I don't like Ron Paul.  It's not that that I don't agree with Ron Paul on most important issues.  It's reality.

Ron Paul has been running for president about as long as I can remember.   And I like that he runs for president, and I like that he keeps arguing libertarianism from a principled perspective.  He has slowly made headway getting people to talk about the libertarian perspective -- helped out in part by the strong backlash against big government that flared up with TARP.  I've even come around a long way on The Patriot Act.  Discussion is good.

My problem has been ... he couldn't win.  For years I voted for libertarians anyway, proudly pinning my principle pin to my bare chest and bleeding like the warrior I felt I was -- but the reality of where American voters are right now is -- Ron Paul can't win.  Which is a shame, but that's the way it is.

Right now, looking at the field of candidates, Paul is looking better and better to me.   And it's not that I think he would get in there and set things right.   Presidents can't do that.  They need Congress and they need principled, Constitutionally-Minded Supreme Court justices.   They can make headway.

President Paul would probably do a lot of good.   But only if candidate Paul actually wins the general election.   Ron Paul is scary to a lot of people, right or wrong.  The Democrat PR Machine would pounce on it, and I believe we'd end up with a second serving of Hope and Change.

Maybe Romney or Gingrich or Santorum would be Hope and Change Lite™.   But Hope and Change Lite™ is better than Hope and Change™, and it buys time for what really needs to happen.  The reality is, right now we're forced to figure out what is the litest plausibly electable version of Hope And Change™ out there, and vote for it.

What really needs to happen is for Ron Paul supporters to make Ron Paul's arguments to their families and friends without repeating Ron Paul's name.   Because we don't need Ron Paul supporters.  We need liberty supporters.  We need limited government supporters.   When and only when that happens will we become a nation in which someone like Ron Paul can win.  Make the case for the principles, and the rest will follow.   Eventually.  Ron Paul would agree.  It's the principles, not the man.

Unless we end up with a government that no longer even pretends to nod to the Constitution before that happens.  Which ... with 4 more years of Hope and Change™ ... more likely to happen, IMHO.

Hey, if Ron wins the primary, I'll vote for him.  If Rick wins, I'll vote for him.

The sad state of affairs is that if only "Obama" and "No" show up on the ballot ... I'm gonna vote for "No".

But that's not the end of it.  Liberty Constitution. Liberty Constitution.  Until I win the debate.


Jeffmon said...

Wow! The video was creepily familiar. There's a guy at work who is part of the way down this road. I am convinced a lot of Ron Paul supporters (who like to refer to him as Dr. Paul) are pot heads who desperately want their buzz of choice to be legal. The rest are conspiracy theorists.

That said, I would be happy to have Ron Paul as president. My biggest beef with him is his fantasy that if we leave the moslems alone, they will leave us alone. I believe he is wrong.

However, if we followed the Ron Paul plan, our troops and equipment will be concentrated in the United States, thus dramatically lowering military costs. And the moslems will attack. Americans as a whole seem to view national defense as something that happens "out there", so they don't even feel any threat. They scoff at the idea that there is a threat.

The moslem attacks will immediately bring the reality of the threat home. The formerly indifferent will overwhelm the squishy liberals (like they did eleven years ago), and Ronnie boy will be forced to defend the country.

The rest of Paul's platform is a damn sight better than Obama's, and Bush's, for that matter.

Clare said...

@Jeffmon: I'm a Ron Paul supporter. I am not a pothead or a conspiracy theorist. I am a 40 year old married woman with two children who wants the best for this country.
The reason some of us refer to him as Dr. Paul is because he IS a doctor!
I do not think that we are hated in the Muslim world because we are free. I just want to make the point that if they had meddled in our country the way that we have in theirs, we'd react the same. We overthrew Iran's democratically elected government in 1953 and installed a dictator! This is the tip of the iceberg! Go and search US involvement in the middle east. It is amazing (and sad) to see what we have been involved with!
Do you see those countries being so hostile to, say, Sweden?? No! Because the leave them alone!

The BEST thing we can do is bring our troops home. That will strengthen our national defense and well as save us billions of dollars!!!

Jeffmon said...

Thanks, Clare, you have illuminated my point.

Two examples:

Islamists arrested

The first Muslim suicide attack in Sweden

Moslems attack non-moslems, period. They attack regardless of our involvement in their countries.

I agree with you that we should not meddle, but it is naïve to reason that if we leave them alone, they will leave us alone. That is demonstrably false.

Ultimately, as I mentioned before, Ron Paul's error in judgement may turn out to have a silver lining. It might drive home the point that our freedom is only guaranteed by vigilance and the blood of patriots.

Clare said...

With my mistake, I make my point clearer:

Twelve minutes before the bombing on Saturday, a Swedish news agency received a message with two sound files, one in Swedish and one in Arabic, that was also sent to the Swedish Security Police. The message critised Swedish soldiers serving in Afghanistan. Abdulwahab said: “Now your children, your daughters and your sisters will die as our brothers, our sisters and our children are dying.”

It is not only Muslims who kill Christians. Let’s ignore the Crusades (although the first recorded “suicide” bombing came from Christian soldiers during the Crusades, The Knights Templar destroyed one of their own ships with 140 Christians on board in order to kill 10 times as many Muslims in the opposing fleet.)
The Yelwa massacre took place on May 2, 2004, in Yelwa, Nigeria. According to reports more than 630 Muslims were killed by Christians.. Twelve mosques and 300 houses went up in flames. Young girls were marched to a nearby Christian town and forced to eat pork and drink alcohol. Many were raped, and 50 of them were killed.

Is Norwegian gunman Anders Behring Breivik a Christian terrorist?

Should we ignore number of Muslims that the US has killed in the last 30 years alone?

What do YOU feel their motivation for attacking us is? Do you have any idea what we have done??:

I make no excuses for any of this violence. It is abhorrent. I am just attempting to explain it and hopefully, one day, make it less commonplace. The way to do that is by getting out of their countries: we have no place there.

Interesting article:

But, we're the good guys in the world, spreading democracy, freeing the oppressed, opposing tyrants. We wouldn't invade a sovereign country strictly out of a selfish lust for its resources, would we?

Sadly, we would and we have.

philmon said...

I don't recall or see anywhere anything about only Mulsims killing Christians or vice versa, so this is a bit of a new subject here.

You're not making excuses? It sure sounds to me like you are.

Should we ignore the Crusades? No, we shouldn't. Nor should we ignore the hundreds of years of Muslim aggression that actually caused the Eeuropean/Christian response. It had swept through northern Africa, Portugal, and Spain, and was on it's way up through Turkey in a two pronged front that leaders realized, unchallenged, would cut them off and isolate them.

Do you have have any idea what "they" have done to "us"?

America has, as has every other country or culture on the planet, done some things that were wrong.

But let's take your premise here for what it means in practical terms.

"We", have "done things" to them. At what point, in your book, do we stop backing off and say "well, just look what we've DONE to THEM!"?

Christians did not invent "Holy War". "Jihad" is actually a Muslim term, and no, it doesn't just mean "internal stuggle". When used in that sense it is metaphoric. With Islam, politics *is* religion, and religion *is* politics. Christians don't have it built into their religion to militarily convert the world to Christianity and slay or enslave those who won't convert. The crusades themselves were a response to that behavior -- directed specifically by one religion -- against all others (they do it to Hindus and Buddhists and Jews, too -- Christians aren't the only "infidels".

What Jeffmon and I are both saying here, though, is yeah. We could go for some Ron Paul isolationism for various resons. But that has not stopped Muslim aggression in the past 1300 years, and it's not going to stop it now.

Clare said...

No, I am not excusing their behavior…I am trying to explain it….two different things.

I think you've romanticized the Crusaders a little. They slaughtered all of those they came across who did not convert….Jews, Muslims, "heretics" in Europe and the Middle East. Talk about aggression!
I am not playing the blame game here. I am making the point that "we" are not these perfect, moral people who have never acted violently towards other religions. What about Christian aggression over the last 1300 years? European colonization??
Christianity is not all sunshine and rainbows. Read the Bible, Deuteronomy in particular. We are instructed to kill those who do not believe!
"Suppose you hear in one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you that some worthless rabble among you have led their fellow citizens astray by encouraging them to worship foreign gods. In such cases, you must examine the facts carefully. If you find it is true and can prove that such a detestable act has occurred among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock. (Deuteronomy 13:13-19 NLT)
What do we hope to achieve with these endless wars? Safety for Christians? If that is so then why overthrow the secular Saddam Hussein? Christians had lived peacefully in Iraq for 2,000 years. Now they are being murdered.
Or do we hope to help the Muslim people? If that is true then why overthrow democratically elected governments and put in dictators? Why prop up dictators?
What is our real reason for being there?
Do you really think that if we left that they'd come and try to invade the USA?? Why on earth would they do that? The US can take care of itself, Europe can take care of itself. Israel can take care of itself.

I didn't ever say that we could completely stop any aggression between Christians and Muslims….such is the nature of religion. I believe that if we were not in their countries it would help! Imagine if they had bases all over the US or even on our borders. Imagine they were threatening to attack us if we didn't do as they said. Imagine if they were killing innocent civilians including women and children. How would we react to that? Do you think we'd just give in? I don't think so!

And by the way, Ron Paul is NOT an isolationist, he in a non-interventionist. There is a huge difference.

Jeffmon said...

Pointless back-and-forth about the relative evil of Christianity and Islam aside, we simply disagree about whether moslem attacks will stop if we leave moslem countries.

I'm all for finding out who's right. We won't discover that here.

As I mentioned (twice) before, Ron Paul's error in judgement may turn out to have a silver lining. It might drive home the point that our freedom is only guaranteed by vigilance and the blood of patriots.

If it's what you think is right, vote for Ron Paul, with my (completely irrelevant) blessing.

There is nothing further to discuss. Thank you.

Clare said...

I don't believe the discussion is pointless.
As for who is right, we will never discover that if we continue with our interventionist foreign policy, which is your stance.
A vote for anyone other than Ron Paul is a vote for the status quo.
I wonder then, do you really care who is right? Or has the propaganda machine scared you into believing in a never-ending war in the name of peace.

I for one am sick of this double-think.

I will vote for Ron Paul because I want this country to better for my children. I thank you for your blessing.

philmon said...

Ummmm ... looking for where anybody said anything about Christianity being all sunshine and rainbows. Or romanticizing Crusaders. All I stated was the fact that the Crusades were a response to hundreds of years of Muslim military conquest. I didn't say the Christian armies were not aggressive or always behaved well.

Point there being ... you make a lot of assumptions about what anyone here is saying. Sort of like maybe you have an axe to grind, or something?

Also looking to see what part of Deuteronomy is in the New Testament (you know, where Jesus laid down the new law for Christians...

Luke 9:3-4
He said to the apostles, "When you travel, don't take a walking stick. Also, don't carry a bag, food, or money. Take for your trip only the clothes you are wearing. When you go into a house, stay there until it is time to leave. If the people in the town will not welcome you, go outside the town and shake their dust off of your feet.

Anybody who knows squat about Christianity knows that Jesus came to replace the old Talmudic law with a new law. Jesus flat out said to behave differently than the old law commanded:

Matthew 5:38-45
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’[a] 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[b] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven.

I have read my Bible (and my Koran), and not just snippets from anti-Christian newsletters and websites that purport to illustrate that it says things that it does not.

But all that is beside the point.

Since the original post said nothing about Christians at all, I think perhaps your biggest erroneous assumption is that we, as in the United States, attack Muslim countries because they are Muslim, and we are Christians. But we are not homogeneously Christians, and Christians or Americans don't attack Muslims as a part of some sort of religious feud -- as a matter of fact, we protect them at least as much as we fight them -- and often from each other. Of course, we get no "credit" for defending one group of Muslims against another, it just goes down in the Anti American annals as "aggression against Muslims". But their religion has squat to do with it except for the fact that it keeps coming up over the centuries in adherents to that religion that infidels can and must be slain simply for not following the Muslim faith. That God/Allah actually wants that and will reward you for doing it. No matter what we do or don't do, this will not end unless there is some huge reformation in Islam (which some Muslims have actually called for).

In other words, Islam is by and large stuck in Deuteronomy. Christians left that behind 2000 years ago. There have certainly been abuses of power using Christianity as a foil, but it's not a part of any Christian teaching. And America does not engage in religious wars. Just because you happen to be Muslim and we attacked you does not mean that we attacked you because you were Muslim. They are the ones who always put it in terms of religious war. Because they don't separate religion and politics ... or conquest.

Clare said...

I have no axe to grind. I'm just tired of pointless unwinnable wars.

The Crusades were a response to Muslims taking over what they thought should be Christian lands. No matter that Jews lay claim to them before that. No matter, there is no excuse for the violence and terror they caused along the way to all who dared not to convert to their thinking.

I'm sorry, but Jesus did not wish for us to ignore the Old Testament. We cannot ignore the parts we dislike.

“I tell you that to everyone who has, more shall be given, but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence.” Luke 19:27

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. (Matthew 5:17)

I'm not sure I believe you have read the Quran, or you would see that the passages are as contrary as our own Bible, Sometimes advocating peace and violence simultaneously.

Why then do we attack the Middle East? Oil?
I do not agree with the assumption that we protect them as much as we fight them. We protect our interests in their countries, that is all.


You say that we do not attack them because of their religion. I (and many experts) say that they do not simply attack us because of our religion. They attack us because of our foreign policy. How would we feel if they overthrew our government and continually meddled in our politics?

There are 25,000 Jews living in Iran. There are Christians living all over the Middle East. How haven't they all been slaughtered by now??

You think our government separates religion and politics? Tell that to Obama, who recently stated that he often falls to his knees in prayer, and emphasized the role of his religious values in determining where to lead the country. Or to Santorum, his religious beliefs are all he will talk about!

philmon said...

"I tell you that to everyone who has, more shall be given, but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence.” Luke 19:27

Read the whole of Luke 19. What you quote here is a quote from a King -- a character in a parable Jesus was relaying, not a command from Jesus to his followers. It is often cited by antagonists to "prove" that Jesus commanded violence against his enemies, and he did nothing of the sort. Context.

What I quoted were things Jesus said as Jesus himself, in first person.

>>I'm sorry, but Jesus did not wish for us to ignore the Old Testament.

Nor did I say that he wished for us to ignore it. He did not come to abolish the Old Law completely - but he certainly came to significantly revise it.

It was even foreshadowed in the Old Testament in Hebrews 8:7-13

"Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, 9not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For they did not continue in my covenant, and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord. 10For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 11And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. 12For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more." 13In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away."

So when Jesus came along and says stuff along the lines of what God hinted at in Hebrews 8, I'm *pretty sure* he wanted us to to disregard things in the Old Testament that are contrary to it.

philmon said...

>> I do not agree with the assumption that we protect them as much as we fight them. We protect our interests in their countries, that is all.

And often that involves protecting Muslims. But we don't do it because they're Muslims any more than we attack them because they're Muslims. You're really underscoring my point. Religion has nothing to do with it. But they (the Jihadis) always MAKE religion have just about everything to do with it.

>> You say that we do not attack them because of their religion.

Yes, I say that.

>> I (and many experts) say that they do not simply attack us because of our religion.

Perhaps, but that is not what THEY, the Muslims doing the attacking DO say. Who ya' gonna believe? "Experts", or the ones encouraging and doing the attacking?

>> There are 25,000 Jews living in Iran. There are Christians living all over the Middle East. How haven't they all been slaughtered by now??

As long as the Dihimis behave, Sharia allows for them to live in Muslim countries at the Muslim's pleasure. Of course, with certain restrictions like having to cross the street when a Muslim approaches and of course paying the dihimi tax.

Perhaps they are serving their own interests as well?

philmon said...

>> What do we hope to achieve with these endless wars? Safety for Christians? If that is so then why overthrow the secular Saddam Hussein?

As I recall, the reasoning had nothing to do with "safety for Christians" or protecting anyone from Muslims. So Saddam being "secular" is a bit of a red herring (though I should point out he wrapped himself in a heavy cloak of Islam as soon as he felt threatened). Rather, I though it had a lot to do with defiance of something like 17 U.N. resolutions mostly fallout from his 1991 invasion of Kuwait. Which is also a Muslim country, but I digress.

>>Christians had lived peacefully in Iraq for 2,000 years. Now they are being murdered.

2,000 years is a bit of an overstatement, and "peacefully" is subject to interpretation. But again, this is all beside the point. Mr. Secular Saddam did keep the religious sect violence down to a minimum, and now that he's gone many Muslims are murdering Christians simply for being Christian -- which again I point out you do not find this kind of thing as prevalent anywhere as in Islam.

Still, again, beside the point. You're the one who brought up the justification argument (while simultaneously denying it), what "we", going back to the Crusades have done to bring this blowback and leaving out the previous 450 years. I'm just pointing out your errors, and mostly agreeing with you about non-intervention.

You do seem to have a bit of a bug up you about Christianity for sure.

Jeffmon and I are saying, "they're not gonna stop." History backs this up. Their own words back this up. Saying "What about Christians????" is pretty much irrelevant to those facts.

Clare said...

I'm not sure either of you looked at the link I gave you earlier.

The point is that is what they say! The only people who say anything different are those who want to continue with the war. The propaganda machine. Or crazy individuals that could be never stopped no matter what you do . (well, unless you kill EVERY Muslim in the world, which seems to be the plan.)

You keep saying that we are not there because of religion. I am saying I agree. Why does what they do concern us? What is the benefit of our current foreign policy?

Again. I am not justifying what they do! Where have I ever said that? Isn't obvious that I feel violence isn't the answer?
What I'm saying is of course things that happened are going to incite violence.

If you continue to poke at an already angry dog what will happen? It will bite. Does that mean I am excusing it? No! I am telling you what will happen!
I am critical of America’s foreign policy because they SUPPORT terrorists, extremists, and dictators. The unconstitutional U.S. government meddling around the world has only been accelerating. Today, America is involved in openly announced (yet undeclared) wars in foreign countries and many more covert ones. Look at Osama bin Laden. His "Islamic warriors", were even armed, trained, supplied and financed by America and some of its allies! He didn't agree with American troops fighting on Holy lands during the Iraq war, so he was exiled by Saudi Arabia. We all know how the Iraq war played out. Then, in the mid '90s, bin Laden moved back to Afghanistan and announced “Jihad,” or Holy War, against the U.S. government. His primary goal, he said, was to drive American troops from Islamic lands and eliminate U.S. and Western support for the corrupt regimes terrorizing much of the Muslim world.
Bin Laden and his men reportedly struck at America 1998. According to a federal indictment, they were involved in the bombings of two American embassies in Africa. After that, bin Laden’s men reportedly drove C4 explosives into a U.S. Navy ship. They were also suspected in other bombings, yet incredibly, the U.S. government and various Western intelligence agencies were once again helping bin Laden’s Islamic warriors in the late '90s, even as then-President Clinton was pretending to show concern about bin Laden by bombing a pharmaceutical plant in the capital of Sudan. This time around, the American assistance to the Islamic extremists was provided in the former Yugoslavia via the al-Qaeda-linked Kosovo Liberation Army.

"Many members of the Kosovo Liberation Army were sent for training in terrorist camps in Afghanistan," former Canadian ambassador to Yugoslavia James Bissett told the Canadian National Post. "There is no question of their participation in conflicts in the Balkans. It is very well documented." Afterward, many Islamic extremists and Mujahedeen stayed in the region, even receiving passports from the U.S.-backed Muslim government in Sarajevo.

I could go on…and on…and on.

Don't you see any pattern here?? Are we creating or destroying extremists?

Clare said...

As far as having "a bug up" me about Christianity. I have a bug up me about religion! It causes so many problems in the world. I am not religious, I was brought up in the Roman Catholic faith. I spent my school years in Catholic schools. I know exactly what the Bible says. I am culturally Christian, so I dislike the violence that has been carried out in our name. I dislike it that we seem have this feeling of "supremacy'. We have been involved in wrongdoing, yet we refuse to accept it. I am merely pointing out that we are not this paragon of virtue that most everyone seems to think we are. We were talking about their religion, so I brought up ours. Hardly completely off-topic. They are Muslim. We are Christian. Past conflict has been about religion, now, I believe it is not about religion for us. It is about power. It is about natural resources. It is about our ties with Israel.
Why is it that Ron Paul gets more support from active military than all other candidates (and Obama) combined?
Doesn't that alone give you pause?

Clare said...

You know. I look through this argument and it seems that no matter what I say I can't change your minds.
I do hope you will look into what I have said. Look at both sides and make a decision. If your views stay the same, so be it.
Phil, you seem like a pretty rational guy(except for George W. Bush comment! (: ) Jeff, well, you do too, although the whole thing started out just to let you know that not all of Ron Paul's supporters are "pot heads who desperately want their buzz of choice to be legal. The rest are conspiracy theorists."
I am not. All of the Ron Paul supporters who I know are not either. I hope I have at least proved that.

It wasn't that long ago that American's fought for freedom from the oppressive, Imperialist Britain. It upsets me to just sit back and watch while the government takes away our civil liberties. The government now owns and controls us and the government is owned and controlled by the banks and special interests. It is time for America to wake up and take it back before we all find that we are all bankrupt and have allowed more American lives to be lost is undeclared wars that have nothing to do with making any of us safer.

philmon said...

Well, I'll tell you this. I was also raised in the Catholic Church (so was Jeffmon, for that matter) and I'll say that neither one of us would be considered anything like active members now, either.

For my part, it is not because I hate religion. Though I was once where you are now. I'm not any more. I now see religion as a force for good ... that gets abused, just like any other force does. I'm in the Sowell "there are no solutions, only tradeoffs" school of economics, and I've seen tha economics is not about money, but about human transactions.

I'm fairly sure that I can't explain it in a short space, and I'm equally certain that it would be a waste of my time, but that's the way it is.

I will, though, point out that as many as have died in religious wars, the number that have died at the hands of athieist communist/socialist statism outpaces it by orders of magnitude.

So in the end men, even men in positions of power in churches are imperfect. And being imperfect men, they fight over disagreements in philosophy, especially when one tires to impose its philosophy on another by force. Sometimes the root of that philosophy is some sort of organized religion. Much more often, it is not, unless you count Socialism as an organized religion ... and an argument COULD be made for that.

Jeffmon would agree with me, there are no absolutes, and of course every Ron Paul supporter out there isn't a pot head or a conspiracy theorist. It's a generalization of ones we have run into.

And note that both of us had positive comments about Ron Paul, Jeffmon even saying "I would be happy to have Ron Paul as President". Neither of us see it happening anytime soon, though, which was the original point of my post. America has been "unredied" for Ron Paul, and it will take time to re-ready her. Even if Ron Paul won by some divine intervention, it wouldn't fix the electorate.

So I think it does make a difference whether we get Obama or Romney/Gingrich/Santorum. Maybe not in general direction, but in velocity and recklessness.

You've got to convert your family and friends. And you don't do it by being combative even in places where you generally agree.

Clare said...

I could start a discussion about whether religion is a good force or bad. I will not. I will just say that being an atheist does not make you a socialist or worse, a Marxist. I want freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. I do not care if my neighbor believes in God, 20 Gods or no God. I am not suggesting atheism for everyone. I'm saying that we need to respect others' religions.
I staunchly defend capitalism! I am nowhere near left-wing. I hope that was not your inference! I view myself as a Conservative. I am not a Neo-Conservative. I believe in following the Constitution, which guarantees me my freedom and liberty. So in that sense I have Libertarian leanings.
I have never understood why atheists are alway the ones considered to have socialist leanings. Much of what Jesus taught directly supports many of the emotional foundations of socialism and even communism. He specifically said that that people should give all they could to the poor and that "it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God." Does that make Christians communists? No!
Ron Paul is a Christian!
I can honestly say I have never encountered a Ron Paul supporter who is pothead, although I'm sure they do exist. I'm sure there are some unsavory types that vote for the other candidates, but that doesn't warrant a generalization.
I think that many people believe Ron Paul is unelectable because the media tell us who IS electable!
Why is sound money, liberty and a sensible foreign policy such a hard sell? The answer is that it isn't.
Look at how Ron Paul stacks up against Obama in national polls.
I think a vote for any other candidate is a wasted vote. I'm sorry but I'm not on the "anyone but Obama" bandwagon. Anyone other than Ron Paul will chip away at our civil liberties, run up the debt, bankrupt the country and push us into more wars. I cannot, with a clear conscience, vote for those things.

philmon said...

I don't think anyone here thought you were left wing. No worries there. And we do know that Ron Paul is a Christian.

Do not apologize for voting for Ron Paul, I sure haven't and won't.

We will see how things go. Actually what led to my post originally is that there really is no candidate out there that I'm excited about, which is dismaying. I do like Ron for many reasons. I'm mostly afraid The Machine (the Education-Entertainment-Political Complex, so to speak) will sink him if he happens to win the primary. I imagine they'll go the Mel Gibson route, first, but that's just an educated guess.

If he does win the primary, I'll be right there with you voting for him.

I cannot, in clear conscience, help a left-wing radical with an enormous, entrenched support apparatus to finish us off in the next 4 years before the Tea Party movment (where there are a lot of Ron Paul supporters, trust me - I know first hand) influences enough of the electorate to get more Ron Paul like candidates on slates across America.

philmon said...

Oh, and as far as atheists having socialist leanings ... nobody here said that, and I actually haven't heard anybody suggest that ... like ... ever.

Ayn Rand was an Athiest. And I'm pretty sure Ron Paul named his son after her.

See, it's the other way around. Socialists and other modern statists tend to have atheistic leanings. One can't have an external moral source competing with one's authority, you know.

The exception to this in modern times is the anything-but-modern Islamic state, where the opposite happens. Instead of the state claming to be God, the Church assumes the role of the State rather than the other way around like it did in Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, Fascist Italy, and places like Cuba.

Our state was built for people with a generally Christian worldview where some basic morals were just assumed. People of other faiths were accepted as long as they lived by our rules. There was, as you have noted, a cultural Christiandom. This has been eroded, and I am fully aware that I am a product of that erosion, and have even participated in being its cause.

While I don't think I can get it back for myself, I do what I can to try to preserve it, because I see it as a Good Thing.

My Confirmation Name was Peter. Maybe there's something to it after all.

Clare said...

Just to set the record straight Ron Paul's son's name is Randal. He was called Randy growing up and it was his wife that shortened it to Rand. (:

That's another problem I have with religion. It is assumed that no-one can have morals without religion. I believe that to be false.
I believe we have an innate sense of what is right and wrong. Some of the world's most secular countries, like those in Scandinavia, are among the least violent, best educated, and most likely to care for the poor.
I believe that religion gets its morality from humans. We even see altruism in mammals!

Well, Ron Paul did pretty well here in Minnesota. He may still end up winning Maine.

I truly think that Ron Paul will do the best against Obama.

Pretty good showing:

Anyway, I thank you for the discussion. I apologize if you feel I was "combative". I'm just passionate about the future of this country, that is all.

philmon said...

Food for thought ... everybody has morals. Even mass murderers and serial killers. They're just different. It's only when one set of morals conflicts with another that we see people saying that the other has no morals.

You referred to yourself as a cultural Christian -- a term I have often used to describe myself.

It may seem that since everyone around you seems to have "a sense of right and wrong" that they were born with it. I'd probably get myself in trouble with some doctrinaires here -- but I don't think that's true.

Morals are loaded like software onto the human psyche during our upbringing by our parents and by our culture. I've watched little kids. Left to their own devices, they bite, steal, hit, push, shove, and would probably kill if they knew what it meant. I believe empathy and a need for security are the bootstraps. And if a culturally compatible moral code isn't loaded during rearing, there will be trouble for that adult and the society in which he lives.

One might think of culture as the trunk of a tree, communities and families (or on a larger scale, states, communities, and families)as the branches, and us as the leaves.

Religion happens. Always has. Whether culture develops them, or they develop culture, they are intertwined. In my model here, it is the root system. It's what holds a culture steady and keeps it nurtured.

It is a culture's moral calibrator.

Now you can cut a plant or a branch of a plant off of its root system and it will continue to survive for a time keeping most of its properties. But without a root system ... it will die.

In keeping with this metaphor -- many plants will "root" if put in water. If you take religion away, another will be created.

And not all moral codes are equal.

If they were, there would be no point in arguing about anything. Everyone would be right.

Clare said...

I agree that even the staunchest atheist growing up in Western society cannot avoid having absorbed the basic tenets of Christian morality. It is impossible to know what our morality would look like without religion. It would require a visit to a human culture that is not now and never was religious. That such cultures do not exist should give us pause.

If you actually look at some of the moralities that are accepted in our society: we don't believe in slavery anymore, we believe in equality of women,we believe in being kind to animals. These are all things which are pretty recent. They have very little basis in Biblical scripture. They are things that have developed over historical time through a reasoning, discussion or argument. These do not come from religion. Our morals change. The Bible does not. You can find the good in religious scriptures, a verse that is an acceptable and say, 'Look at that. That's religion,' and you leave out all the violent parts and you say, 'Oh, we don't believe that anymore. We've grown out of that.'
I think it's also worth mentioning that not all cultures try to base their morality entirely on the commands of deities. For instance, the Greek gods were frequently immoral in Greek eyes, killing people out of passion, stealing things, cheating on each other etc. So it wasn't solely to the gods and their behavior that the Greeks looked for moral guidance.

Why not assume that our humanity, including the self-control needed for livable societies, is built into us? Does anyone truly believe that our ancestors lacked social norms before they had religion? Didn’t they never assist others in need, or complain about an unfair deal?
Do babies show morality?:

I suppose it could be argued that if we are truly created by God, then, surely he must have planted a certain morality in each of us from conception..A belief I do not share

What about morality…or at least altruist in animals?
Dolphins support sick or injured animals, swimming under them for hours at a time and pushing them to the surface so they can breathe

Chimpanzees will voluntarily open a door to offer a companion access to food, even if they lose part of it in the process. And capuchin monkeys are prepared to seek rewards for others, such as when we place two of them side by side, while one of them barters with us with differently colored tokens. One token is “selfish,” and the other “prosocial.” If the bartering monkey selects the selfish token, it receives a small piece of apple for returning it, but its partner gets nothing. The prosocial token, on the other hand, rewards both monkeys. Most monkeys develop an overwhelming preference for the prosocial token, which preference is not due to fear of repercussions, because dominant monkeys (who have least to fear) are the most generous.
Even though altruistic behavior evolved for the advantages it confers, this does not make it selfishly motivated.

Seems even dogs know what’s fair:


I do maintain that I am culturally Christian. I am (for the most part) happy with the societies we have created. Whether the values that made the societies great were of human or divine inception is highly debatable.

Anyway, we have veered completely off topic!

Ron Paul 2012. ;)